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Mac System 7.0 First Impression (All-Mac Supplement follows page 184) 



Magellan vs. ViewLink 

AUGUST 1989 


Ultra Clipper for PS/2s 

NEC's UltraLite 
3 OS/2 Modula-2s 

80386- Based 

MinisPort and Agilis Laptops 
Plus: 11 80386-Based Portables 

Brain-like systems 
olve real-world prd 

How Disk Optimizers 

Expert Advice: 

A New Unix column 

What's Beyond R ISC? 

Digital Signal Processors 
Move to Micros 

5 Short Takes 

S3.50 U.S. A./S4.50 IN CANADA 

0360-S280 ° 440235 


Printer System 800: $699.95 

Our highest resolution text and graphics, 24-pin dot matrix printer. Draft quality 
at 200 cps. Letter quality at 66 cps. Parallel and serial interfaces. Wide carriage. 

Printer System 300: $199.95 

9-pin dot matrix. Draft quality at 144 cps. Near-letter quality at 36 cps. Four 
standard fonts. Parallel interface. Narrow carriage. 


Dell Super VGA Color Monitor. Supports all VGA modes plus new 800 j 
standard. Call for details. 




THE DELL SYSTEM 325 25 MHz 386 



• Intel 80386 microprocessor running at 25 MHz. 

• Choice of 1 MB, 2 MB or 4 MB of RAM* expandable »16 MB using a 
dedicated high speed 32-bit memory slot. 

• Advanced Intel 82385 Cache Memory Controller with 32 KB of 
high speed static RAM cache. 

• Page mode interleaved memory architecture. 

• VGA systems include a high performance 16-bit video adapter. 

• Socket for 25 MHz Intel 80387 or 25 MHz WEITEK 3167 math coprocessor. 

• 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44 MB diskette drive. 

• Dual diskette and hard disk drive controller. 

• Enhanced 101-key keyboard. 

• 1 parallel and 2 serial ports. 

• 200-watt power supply. 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots. 

• 40 MB or 150 MB tape backup. 

• 25 MHz Intel 80387 math coprocessor. 

• 25 MHz WEITEK 3167 math coprocessor. 

• 1 MB or 4 MB RAM upgrade kit. 
•2MB or 8MB memory expansion board kit. 

• Graphics Performance Accelerator GPX-1024- 

• Graphics Performance Display GPD-16C, GPD-19C. 
**Lease for as low as $199Month. 
Extended Service Plan pricing starts at $370. 

System 32 5 With Monicor & Adapter 

"The new 


DeR System 325 

is a flagship 

worth putting 

out in front 

of the fleet." 

February H. 1989 

VGA Mono 


lor Plus 

Hard Disk Drive 























$6,998 A 





$7,798 £ 

Disclaimer: Ad systems are photographed with optional extras, which some computer 
reuriiers won't even recognise. 


t/' ;l pr 

ml :«/ 4 ml 

IN:.; Wf 


Laser System 150, 15 pages per minute: $5,995. 

Laser System 80, 8 pages per minute: $3,295. 

Laser System 60, 6 pages per minute: $2,195. 

All Dell laser printers come with 
1.5 MB RAM, full-page 300 
DPI graphics, and have 31 
standard fonts (7 resident and 
24 downloadable from diskette). 
Dell laser printers also provide 
Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Plus? 
Epson/FX, A IBM Pro pr inter A and 
Diablo 630 A emulations. 


20 MHz 386. 

The best combination of performance 
and value available. 


Intel 80386 microprocessor running 

at 20 MHz. 

Choice ofl MR, 2 MB or 4 MB of 

RAM* expandable to 16 MB using 

a dedicated high speed 32-bit 

memory slot. 

Advanced Intel 82385 Cache Memory 

Controller with 32 KBofhigh speed 

static RAM cache. 

Rige mode interleaved memory 


VGA systems include a high perform- 

e 16-bit video adapter. 
Socket for 20 MHz Intel 80387 or 
20 MHzWEITEK 3167 math 

diskette drive. 

Dual diskette and hard disk drive 


Enhanced 101-key keyboard. 

I parallel and 1 serial ports. 

200 -watt power supply. 

8 industry standard ex 



40 MB or 150 MB tape backup 
20 MH: Intel 80387 math 

•1MB or 4 MB RAM upgrade kit. 
• 2 MB or 8 MB memory expansion 

•Graphics Performance Accelerator 

•Graphics Performance Display 


**Lease for as low as $135/Mwuh. 
Extended Service Plan pricing 
starts at $251. 



1MB 2MB 

Color Plus 
1MB 2MB 


40 MB- 
29 ms IDE 

$3,699 $3,898 

$4,199 $4,398 

100 MB- 
2 5 ms IDE 

$4,199 $4,398 

$4,699 $4,898 

150 MB- 
18 ms 

$4,699 $4,898 

$5. 199 $5,398 

322 MB- 
18 ins 

$5,499 $5,698 

$5,999 $6,198 

4 ;.;TEMng 

.gEEg3B53iKE^ fgC51B 

316 16 MHz 386SX." 

Expandable, affordable access co 386 


• Intel 80386SX microprocessor 
running at 16 MH:. 

■ Choice of 1MB, 2 MB or 4 MB of 
RAM* expandable to 16 MB(8 MB 
on the system board). 

• Page mode interleaved memory 

• VGA systems include a high perform- 
ance 16-bit video adapter 

• L1M 4. Osupport for memory over 1MB. 
•Socket for 16 MHz Intel 80387SX 

math coprocessor. 

• 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44 MB diskette 

• Integrated high performance hard 
disk interface and diskette controller 
on system board. (ESDI based systems 
include a hard disk controller.) 

• Enhanced 101 -key keyboard. 

• 1 parallel and 2 serial ports. 

• 200-wattpovversupply. 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots. 


• 40 MB or 150 MB tape backup. 

• 16 MHz Intel 80387SX math coprocessor. 
•IMBor4MBRAMu P gradekit. 
•Graphics Performance Accelerator 

•Graphics Performance Display 

*Lease for as Imv as $1 12/Month 
Extended Sendee Plan pricing 
starts at $234- 

With Montur & Adapter 




Color Plus 

1MB 2MB 

1MB 2MB 



40 MB- 

29 ms IDE 

$2,999 $3,198 

$3,499 $3,698 

100 MB- 


$3,599 $3,798 

$4,099 $4,298 

150 MB- 

18 ms 

$4,099 $4,298 

$4,599 $4,798 


322 MB- 

18 ms 

$4,899 $5,098 

$5,399 $5,598 



12.5 MHz 286. 

This full-featured 286 computer runs 
at 12.5 MH:, and is completely 
Microsoft MS-DOS and MS OS/2 


• 80286 microprocessor running at 
12.5 MHz. 

• 640 KB ofRAM expandable to 16 MB 
(46 MB on system board). 

• Socket for Intel 80287 math 

•5.25" 1.2 MBor 3.5" 1.44 MB 

diskette drive. 
•Dual diskette and hard disk drive 


• Enhanced 101-key keyboard. 

• 1 paralbl and 2 serial ports. 

• 2 00 -watt power supply. 

• 6 industry standard expansion 


• 40 M B or 1 50 M B tape backup. 

• Intel 80287 math coprocessor. 
•512 KB RAM upgrade kit. 

•2 MB RAM update kit. 
**Lease for as low as $64/Month. 
Extended Service Plan pricing 
starts at $166. 



Hard Disk 
20 MB 





With Monitor 
ik Adapter 









*Perfonnance Enhancements 
(Systems 325, 310 and 316) Within 
the first megabyte of memory, 384 
KB of memory is reserved for use by 
the system to enhance performance. 

4 MB configurations available on all 
systems. Call for pricing. 


We offer a complete line of software. Everything from complex 
CAD/CAM applications to fun flight simulator programs. All at 
extremely competitive prices. 


Dell Enhanced Microsoft® MS- DOS® 3. 3: $99.95. 

Dell Enhanced Microsoft MS-DOS 4.01: $119.95. 

(Both MS-DOS versions with disk cache and other utilities) 
Dell Enhanced MS®OS/2 Standard Edition 1.0: $324.95. 

Dell UN IX® System V/386, Release 3.2: 
Now Available. Call for details. 

All prices arxi specifications are subject to change without notice. l\ll cannot he responsible tor errors, m tvpoisraplYv .>r photognlphv. 
"'Payments based on a 56-month open-end lease. * Leasing arranged l>y Leasing Group, Inc. In GuwJ.i. configurations ,mJ paces 
will vary. Microsoft. MS. MS-DOS and XENIX are registered trademarks owed bv Microsoft Corp. 386 is a trademark of Intel 
Corporation. UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T. Dell UNIX System V is based on INTERACTIVE Systems Corporations 
3S6/ix. ,,,A Signifies trademarksof entities oi her dun Dell Compiler Corporation. A Service in remote locations will 
travel charges. Provided by Xerox Corporation, • 198^ DELI. COMPUTER CORPORATION. 

Technically speaking, the 
System 325 is the most advanced 
386™ computer we've ever built. 
And, according to PC Magazine, 
its one of the most advanced 386 
computers they've ever tested. 

In benchmark after 
benchmark, the Dell System 325 
25 MHz ran circles around a field 


Of the more than 150,000 
personal computers we've sold to 
date, each one's been individually 
configured to fit the needs of 
its owner. 

The System 325 takes that idea 

to its logical extreme. 

For example, it runs either 
MS-DOS? OS/2, or our own 
Dell UN IX® System V Which is 
compatible with AT&T's System 
V Interface Definition. And the 
world of XENIX® applications. 

If speed is of the essence, we 
can include an optional Intel A 

of 386-based systems. A 
field that included the 
Compaq A 386/25. 

A show of prowess 
that earned the System 
325 PC Magazine's 
Editor's Choice award. 

It was a goal we set for 
ourselves from the very 
beginning. And an 
objective anyone with a 
penchant for power and 
performance can 

80387 or WEITEK 3167 
math coprocessor. And 
since nothing about this 
system is lightweight, the 
standard mass storage is a 
100 MB IDE disk drive. Or 
we can configure it with 
a 40, 150 or 322 MB unit. 
As you might expect, 
the output is just as 
intense. You can choose 
between VGA mono 
with paperwhite screen, 
or VGA Color 

., ,. j^rr ro\ 

Plus, for high resolution colors 
displayed on a larger screen. 

Even though the 325 gives you 
all this performance, it still leaves 
you six open slots for whatever 
else you might want to add. 

Andonce you've told us what 
you want, we'll make sure what 
you want works— by buming-in 
the entire system unit. 




In all probability, the 
average computer retailer 
won't have any under- 
standing what makes the 
System 325 go. 

He will, however, be 
quite aware of the fact that 
he could add a 35% markup 
ifhe could sell it in his store. 

Which he can't. 

Because we sell direct. 

Meaning you now have 
the unique opportunity 
to talk directly with a computer 
expert. And ask things like, 
"What's the difference between 
IDE and ESDI?"Or, "How much 
SIMM RAM should I add?" 

In other words, the kinds of 
questions you should be able to 
ask a retailer, but usually can't. 

So as you might suspect, 
dealing direct not only saves you 
the 35% markup, but 100% of the 

from other computers is not just 
how they're sold, but how they're 

Overkill was one description 
used in a PC W^ek article. 


But then, we think you'll 
agree, when something goes 
wrong, you want as much help as 

we'll refund your money. 
No questions asked. 




No matter how many reasons 
we give you to buy a Dell system, 
sometimes it makes more sense to 
lease one instead. 


One of the things that very 
clearly sets a Dell system apart 

possible, right? 

Which is why every Dell system 
comes with a toll-free technical 
support line and self-diagnostic 
software. We're able to solve 90% 
of all problems right over the 
phone. The other 10% receive 
next-day, deskside service. Thanks 
to our new alliance with Xerox 

And you get all this help for a 
full year— whenever you need 
it— at no extra charged 

As you've probably guessed, 
one of the things that drives us 
most is customer satisfaction. 
So we'd like to give you the 
ultimate guarantee: Try a 
System 325 in your office for a 
month. Run your toughest 
applications. Put it through its 
paces, at your pace. If you're not 
completely satisfied, send it back 
anytime within 30 days. And 

Whether you need a single 
computer, or an office full, a 
leasing plan is like 100% financing. 

And just as we can custom 
configure your computers, we can 
see to it you get a custom designed 
lease plan to fit your exact busi- 
ness needs, t A fact that has not 
gone unnoticed. Especially by the 
Fortune 500. Over half of whom 
now own or lease Dell systems. 

And just as we welcome their 
business, we welcome your busi- 
ness, too. Just call us, toll-free. 
And don't be afraid to ask us the 
tough questions. 

That's the part we like best. 






IN CANADA, CALL 800-387-5752 
IN GERMANY, CALL 06103/701 100 
IN THE UK., CALL 0800414535 

Circle 79 on Reader Service Card 


Now we're making 
waves with IBM* 

The ALR MicroFlex 7000 



Frankie Avalon 

6.0 MIPS 

Performance is based 
on the ratings of CPU/ 
Memory in Million 
instructions per second, 
(MIPS) Source Power 
Meter™ version 1.5 The 
Data Base Group, Inc. 
Upland, CA. 

throughput for sophisticated 
applications. For those seek- 
ing large storage capacities, 
the MicroFlex 7000 gives the 
option of 120 or 300MB of 
disk storage using high-speed 
ESDI controllers with 1:1 

The most built-in 

The MicroFlex 7000 includes 
our super VGA controller 
with 800 X 600 graphics 
resolution and the sleek 
tower chassis offers the most 
internal expansion capabili- 
ties of any Micro Channel 
system available. Our one- 

FlexCache is a trademark of Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 80386 Is a registered trademark of Intel Corp. 
IBM and Micro Channel are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. Shown with 
optional monitor. Prices and configurations subject to change without notice. Certified FCC class A, for 
business use only. Copyright 1989 Advanced Logic Research. 

2 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

At ALR, we thrive on oppor- 
tunities to beat our competi- 
tors. Our 25MHz 80386® 
based MicroFlex 7000 is no 

Unmatched performance 

Our proprietary "pre-fetch" 
FlexCache™ design delivers 
the most efficient form of 
microcomputer processing. 
By combining a true 64-bit 
cache bus with 64-KB cache 
memory, performance in- 
creases 30% when compared 
to other 32-bit computers. 
And 64KB of high-speed 
cache memory enables you to 
experience the fastest 

The first 25MHz 

Micro Channel® 


Mi 00 

Home of the World's First 386 PC 

Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 

year warranty with unlimited 
technical support and on-site 
servicing available from 
Intel® can't be beat. 
So make some waves of your 
own at the office with ALR's 
MicroFlex 7000 or any of our 
33MHz systems. For more 
information and the name 
and number of your local au- 
thorized ALR reseller, please 


Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 

9401 Jeronimo, Irvine, CA 92718 
(714) 581-6770 FAX:(714) 581-9240 

For our Canadian office: 1-800-443-4CAN 
For our UK office: 44-1-399-4897 
For our Singapore- Asia/ Pacific office: 
(65) 258-1286 FAX: (65) 258-1285 

Were making some big 
waves in California 

Introducing ALR's FlexCache™ 33/386Z 

33MHz 80386™ 

performance for 

as little as $3995! 

7.5 MIPS 

Performance Is based 
on the ratings of CPU/ 
Memory in Million 
instructions per second, 
(MIPS) Source Power 
Meter™ version 1.5 The 
Data Base Group. Inc. 
Upland, CA. 

i m- 

Home of the World's First 386 PC 

Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 

Wipe out! 

Hang on because ALR's latest 
addition to the FlexCache 
386™ Z-family is cruising at 
an amazing 33MHz. That's a 
20% increase in processing 
speed when compared to the 
award winning FlexCache 

Fast Cache 

With 32KB of cache memory, 
award-winning FlexCache 
architecture and our en- 
hanced 16-bit super VGA 
controller you better be 
ready to move. 

FlexCache is a trademark of Advanced Logic Research, inc. 386 is a registered trademark of Intel Corp. 
OS/2 is a registered trademark of IBM Corp. PC Kwik is a registered trademark of Multisoft Corp. Shown 
with optional monitors. Certified FCC Class A , for business use only. Prices and configurations subject to 
change without notice.Copyright 1989AdvancedLogic Research, Inc. 

Circle 13 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 14) 

At prices starting as little as 
$3995% the FlexCache 
33/386Z delivers the most 
performance for all power 
hungry desktop applications 
like CAD/CAM, desktop 
publishing or financial 
modeling at a very modest 
price. Of course the 
FlexCache 33/386Z is OS/2® 
compatible for tomorrow's 
latest generation of applica- 
tions. The FlexCache 33/386Z 
as with all of the Z-Family 
comes packaged with PC- 
Kwik®, the award-winning 
disk caching utility. 

With ALR's FlexCache 
33/386Z you'll receive un- 
beatable support backed by 
an unprecedented 
three year factory 
warranty on the main 
system board, a one-year 
system warranty, unlimited 
technical support and op- 
tional on-site servicing from 

For more information on the 
FlexCache 33/386Z call: 


AUGUST 1989 • BYTE 3 


AUGUST 1989 

VOL. 14/NO. 8 


49 What's New 
81 Short Takes 

Portfolio, the new portable 
from Atari 

Altima One, a good luggable 
Finesse, Logitech's low-cost 
desktop publishing 
MacroMind Director, video 
production on the Mac 
MultiPIus, desktop management 
from SunFlex 


90 Cover Story 

The Ever-Shrinking, 
Ever-Expanding Laptops 

by Nick Bar an 
and Michael E. Nadeau 
Agilis and Zenith 
introduce innovative new 
laptop computers. 



The Ever-Shrinking, 



by Nick Baran 

and Michael E. Nadeau 

page 90 

Agilis and Zenith 


tiny computers 

that broaden 

the market for laptops. 


142 Product Focus: 

Desktop Power to Go 

by Stanford Diehl 

and Stan Wszola 

When you need computing power 

to go, one of these 1 1 portable 

PCs should suit your needs. 

161 The Painlessly Portable PC 

by Mark L. Van Name 

and Bill Catchings 

NEC's petite UltraLite computer 

is actually fun to take 

with you on the road. 

167 Ultra Graphics 

by Bradley Dyck Kliewer 
Pixelworks' Ultra Clipper 
brings enhanced graphics 
to MCA computers. 

171 Modula-2 and OS/2 Join Forces 
by Andrew Schulman 
Three Modula-2 compilers take 
advantage of OS/2' s features. 

177 A New World for DOS 

by Stan Miastkowski 
Explore uncharted waters in DOS 
with intelligent DOS shells from 
Lotus and Traveling Software. 



99 Computing at Chaos Manor: 

Mni(/////s. * i^^ 

125 Macinations: 

mi iir j? m l * 

The Great Power Spike 

^\fw^ ■ ^m 

The Way of Things 

by Jerry Pournelle 


A freak accident leaves 

^^^iip=- ^R^^sB^^L. ^SS^^. 

by Don Crabb 

Jerry extolling the humble 

There are many ways to 

surge suppressor. 

accomplish something, but 
only a few of them are right. 

113 NEW The Unix /bin: 

" +.i //////a* ; 

A Calm Approach to Unix 

w. sAWW t ^^NUHMmimMwMwwJm 

129 OS/2 Notebook: 

by David Fiedler 

Glimmers of Acceptance 

The average Unix user 

Will li% WA 

by Mark Minasi 

never has to worry about many 

Microrim and Logitech 

of the system nuances. 

announced exciting new 

llp^ ^^ ySxCv 

OS/2 products at Comdex. 

1 19 Down to Business: 
Neither Snow, 

^KIV^KM K^m S^-*r/ v > r -~ v^ 

135 Networks: 

Nor Chicago. . . 

Growing Pains 

by Wayne Rash Jr. 

0MB ^rjb ^^^SBlS \ 

by James Y. Bryce 

Comdex brought 

- — iM^S^^g^^^" ^~^5^T^^ i 

Your LAN operating system 

some good news for \ 

can spell the difference 

business users. 

tf" ^X\^3Mifc 

between control and chaos. 

4 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 




begins after page 80 


214 Introduction: 

Neural Networks 

217 Time to Get Fired Up 

by Klaus K. Obermeier 

and Janet J. Barron 

IBM PCs, Macs, and personal 

workstations can run 

neural-network simulations that 

learn and train themselves. 

227 What's Hidden 

in the Hidden Layers? 

by DavidS. Touretzky 
and Dean A. Pomerleau 
The contents can be easy to 
find with a geometrical problem, 
but the hidden layers have yet 
to give up all their secrets. 

235 Building Blocks for Speech 

by Alex Waibel 

and John Hampshire 

Modular neural networks 

may be the answer to the problem 

of machine-based speech 


244 Neural Networks: Theory 
and Practice 

A guide to neural-network 
ideas and products. 


246 Dealing with a Digital World 

by David A. Mindell 
Powerful digital-signal- 
processing chips are finding 
their way into personal computers 
and workstations. 

259 VLIW: Heir to RISC? 

by Peter Wayner 
In the race to maximize CPU 
performance, a new architecture 
called VLIW may be the next 
step after RISC chips. 



System 7.0 and the Macintosh Hex 

by Don Crabb 


Short Takes 

Spectrum/24, Showcase F/X, 

MaxPage 1.2 



System 7.0: The Next-Generation 

Mac Operating System 

by Tom Thompson 

List Manager Techniques 

by Jan Eugenides 

HyperTalk Program Design 

by Richard D. Lasky 


265 Under the Hood: 

Hard Disk Maintenance 

by L. Brett Glass 
How low-level hard disk 
optimizers work and what they 
can do for you. 


Some Assembly Required: 
If Memory Serves. . . 
by Rick Grehan 

A library of memory management 
routines that will help you avoid 
a fragmented heap. 




Hold onto Your Hat 

(and Your Wallet) 




Letters, Ask BYTE, and Fixes 


Chaos Manor Mail 


Coming Up in BYTE 


Print Queue 


Stop Bit 



Editorial Index by Company 


Alphabetical Index to Advertisers 


Index to Advertisers 

Dealing with a Digital World/246 

by Product Category 

Inquiry Reply Cards: after 344 


From BIX: See 338 
From BYTEnet: 
call (617) 861-9764 
On disk or in print: 
See card after 232 

BYTE (ISSN 0360-5280) is published monthly wiih an additional issue in 
October by McGraw-Hill. Inc. Postmaster: Send address changes. USPS 
Form 3579. and fulfillment questions to BYTE Subscriptions. P.O. Box 551. 
Higiitstown. NJ 08520. Second-class postage paid at Peterborough. \H 
03458. and additional mailing offices. Postage paid at Winnipeg. Manitoba. 
Registration number 932 I. Printed in the United States of America. 

Not responsible for lost manuscripts or photos. Opinions expressed by the 
authors are not necessarily those of BYTE. 

Copyright © 1989 by McGraw-Hill. Inc. All rights reserved. Trademark 
registered in the United Slates Patent and Trademark Office. 

Subscription questions or problems should be addressed to: 
BYTE Subscriber Service. P.O. Box 551. Hightstown. NJ 


AUGUST 1 989 • B Y T E 5 

Microsoft profession 
something other lang 





al laiiguagesghe ym 
uages dontDmage. 

In an industry that evolves practically over- 
night, its tough to stay ahead of the crowd. 

You need tools that not only give you an 
edge day-to-day, but open up endless possibilities. 

Tools that can only come from Microsoft. 

Combine Microsoft* C and Macro Assem- 
bler and you've got enough power to create pro- 
grams for MS-DOS* Windows and OS/2 systems. 

What's more, you can do it all in record time 
because our renowned CodeView* Debugger, 
Linker, Microsoft Editor, and MAKE utility work 
ingeniously and seamlessly 

In other words, you've 
got the leverage of the most 
inventive and comprehensive 
tools around. 

When you develop un- 
der OS/2 systems, you've got 
options no one else can touch. 
Like multi-tasking. And blast- 
ing through the 640K barrier. 

In addition, Microsoft 
C and Macro Assembler can 
accommodate more third 
party add-ons than any other 
PC professional languages. 

Maybe that s why the 
most popular applications on the market today 
were developed through the unique power of our 
C and Assembler: Lotus* 1-2-3® WordPerfect* 5.0. 
Microsoft Excel. And Aldus* PageMaker.* 

So drop by your nearest Microsoft dealer 
soon. And start turning out the most airtight, fine- 
tuned code ever to touch a disk. 

After all, you've got the leverage. 


Making it all make sense: 

Customer in the U.S., call (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call (416) 673-7638. Outside North America, call (206) 
882-8661. © Copyright 1989 Microsoft Coiporation. All righte reserved Microsoft, MS-DOS and the Microsoft 
logo are registered trademarks and Making it all make sense is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 

EDITORIAL ■ Fred Langa 

hold onto 
Your Hat (and 
Your Wallet) 

Apricot announces 
the first "real" 
80486-based machine. 
Meanwhile, there's 
nothing but lawsuits 
on the 68040 front. 

I recently received a transatlantic 
phone call from an excited Paul La- 
vin, a colleague who writes for a 
number of British computer publi- 
cations. He'd just caught wind of a sur- 
prising development: Apricot was about 
to announce an 80486-based computer. 

When Intel introduced the 80486 last 
April, it predicted that 80486-based ma- 
chines would appear late this year, with 
volume shipments next year. I never sus- 
pected that the British company Apricot 
would be first with an 80486 machine, or 
would have one so soon. 

But it was: Its 80486-based 25-MHz 
Micro Channel architecture machine 
was announced in June in London. The 
first production units will be available a 
few weeks after you read this. 

Apricot even beat IBM's 80486 an- 
nouncement by several weeks, although 
IBM had shown a nearly finished proto- 
type in April. (For more details on the 
IBM machine, see the June editorial.) 

Apricot's machine, called the VX FT, 
is a 15-million-instructions-per-second 
beast that comes with up to 5 gigabytes of 
SCSI hard disk drive storage, up to 16 
megabytes of RAM on the motherboard, 
a digital audio tape-recording backup 
subsystem, built-in disk shadowing (for 
fault tolerance), support for up to 128 
serial ports, and a 465-watt power supply 
with its own built-in lead/acid backup 
batteries (that's right, a built-in uninter- 
ruptible power supply). This is all cooled 
by three or four 4-inch-diameter fans, 
depending on how the machine is config- 

ured. We're talking heavy duty. 

The box, which is mounted on skids, is 
about the size of a fat two-drawer filing 
cabinet. Weighing over 150 pounds, it 
comes with a pair of built-in retractable 
handles so that two people can horse it 
around. Whew. 

The VX FT is built around an MCA 
motherboard with eight slots (four 16-bit 
and four 32-bit). The motherboard uses 
standard Chips & Technologies chips 
and a Phoenix BIOS. This helps ensure 
compatibility; the machine was shown 
running MS-DOS 4.01, OS/2 Extended 
Edition, Novell NetWare, 3 + Open LAN 
Manager, SCO Unix System V release 
3.2, and other software. 

While the chips and the BIOS are con- 
ventional, the Apricot designers went 
their own way in the addition of a sepa- 
rate cache on the motherboard (this is un- 
usual because the 80486 has an on-board 
cache of its own). Apricot believes that 
this 128K-byte "Hypercache" will give 
the VX FT a performance edge over 
those machines that simply use the 
80486 's on-board cache. 

So far, it's an unproven belief: As I 
write this, the Apricot engineers are 
eradicating some last-minute problems 
that cropped up in the first Hypercache 
prototypes. As soon as the glitches get 
sorted out, we'll bring you full bench- 
mark results and Paul Lavin's hands-on 

Of course, all this horsepower and 
storage isn't exactly cheap: Prices start at 
the very high end of the microcomputer 
price spectrum (about $18,000) and go 
up from there, topping out in the exo- 
spheric $40,000 range. Clearly, this 
won't be a high-volume system. 

Meanwhile, at the Low End. . . 

Cheetah (see the June Editorial) is still 
on track with a low-cost 80486-based 
motherboard— one that actually could 
cost less than a similarly clocked 80386- 
based system with a separate 80387 math 
chip and cache. 

We may see the 80486 market split in 
two radically different directions: killer 
systems with killer prices for departmen- 
tal computing needs, and relatively inex- 
pensive fast systems for personal desktop 

The prices of 80486-based systems 
could also be keptsomewhat in check due 
to competition from the Motorola or 
RISC camps, if those chip makers can 
mount an aggressive attack. Unfortu- 
nately, there are problems. 

For example, we still haven't heard of 
a single demonstration of a 68040-based 
system, even though the 68040 was an- 
nounced before the 80486. One possible 
explanation is— surprise!— legal hassles: 
Hitachi has accused Motorola of violat- 
ing Hitachi patents with its 68030 micro- 
processor, currently Motorola's top-of- 
the-line shipping CPU. The 68040 
includes an enhanced 68030 as its core; 
it's reasonable to surmise that legal com- 
plications involving the 68030 might 
spill over to affect the 68040. 

Sadly, legal wrangling isn't at all un- 
usual these days. But not since NEC sued 
Intel over rights to make clones of the 
8088 and 8086 CPUs has a suit attacked 
an American microprocessor maker's 
premier product— in this case, the Mo- 
torola 68030, which is used in Apple's 
Macintosh IIx and Ilex and in worksta- 
tions from Sun and Hewlett-Packard. 

Perhaps this lawsuit is one of the rea- 
sons why development of 68040-based 
systems appears to be lagging far behind 
that of 80486-based systems. (I can only 
guess; Motorola is mum on the subject.) 

I hope that the legal snags will get re- 
solved and that Motorola and others can 
provide healthy competition for high-end 
80486s; and that companies like Cheetah 
can cultivate low-cost 80486s. 

The Apricot VX FT is nice— very 
nice. But prices like that take the "per- 
sonal" out of personal computing. 

—Fred Langa 

Editor in Chief 

(BIX name "f langa") 

8 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 9 


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Frederic S. Langa 


J. Burt Totaro 


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12 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 


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16 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 


Staff-written highlights of developments in technology and the microcomputer industry, 
compiled from Microbytes Daily and BYTEweek reports 

AT&T "Microscopic Parallel Processor" Hits 24 GHz 

Scientists at AT&T's Bell Labora- 
tories (Murray Hill, NJ) have 
built a new quantum-effect transistor 
that promises some intriguing future 
generations of computers. Texas In- 
struments was the first to announce 
development of a quantum transistor 
(see "TI's Prototype Transistor Takes 
a Quantum Leap," March Microbytes). 
Designers working with such a device 
will someday be able to implement far 
more functions on a chip than is 
possible with today's ICs. 

In normal transistors, the output 
current increases steadily as the input 
current rises. But according to 
Frederico Capasso, one of the three 
co-developers of the new multistate 
resonant tunneling transistor, the 
output current peaks, falls off, and 
then peaks again in the AT&T device. 
This multistate characteristic allows it 
to do the work of many conventional 
transistors. Capasso calls it a "micro- 
scopic parallel processor." In addition 
to its almost unimaginably small size, 
the transistor operates at up to 24 
gigahertz, about twice the speed of the 
fastest conventional silicon transistors, 
while it requires much less power than 
current ICs. 

Although the device is only in an 
experimental prototype stage right 
now, AT&T scientists say they have 
already used a single quantum 
transistor to implement functions such 
as parity bit-checking (which normally 
requires about 24 transistors). They 

say they've also used a single device 
to multiply a frequency from 300 MHz 
to 1.5 GHz. 

Like Texas Instruments' device, 
AT&T's transistor uses a quantum 
phenomenon called resonant tunnel- 
ing, which occurs in quantum wells- 
electron filters formed by stacking 
microscopically thin layers of semi- 
conductor atop one another. Only 
electrons with certain energies can 
pass through the wells. 

AT&T's device uses two well layers, 
made of gallium-indium-arsenide and 
measuring just 25 atoms thick; each 
layer is surrounded by two aluminum- 
indium-arsenide barrier layers of the 
same thickness. AT&T scientists say 
they created the multistate capabilities 
of the device by increasing the number 
of wells. The actual wells are made 
using an AT&T-developed technique 
called molecular beam epitaxy. 
Because it allows scientists to build 
devices one atom thick at a time, MBE 
lets designers concentrate the entire 
circuit function vertically into a single 
device. Capasso says this is the first 
demonstration of a three-dimensional 
integrated transistor device. 

But don't expect to buy a laptop 
supercomputer yet. Commercial 
applications of the multistate resonant- 
tunneling transistor are probably five 
to 10 years away. The primary 
problem is that new techniques will 
have to be developed to allow mass 
production of quantum transistors. 

VROOMM: Borland Says Memory Technology 
Will Make Future Programs Better, Not Bigger 

Borland International (Scotts 
Valley, CA) says its new propri- 
etary programming technology will 
enable it to develop applications that 
have more features and greater data 
capacity but still fit within the 640K- 
byte limitation of MS-DOS. Borland 
is calling the technology VROOMM, 
which stands for Virtual Real-Time 
Object-Oriented Memory Manager, a 
fancy marketing phrase for a program- 
ming concept called dynamic segment 

swapping. The software company says 
that it will use VROOMM in all its 
applications and development tools; 
the new Reflex 2.0 is the first applica- 
tion to implement VROOMM. 

In contrast to the concept of segment 
overlays, in which parts of the 
program's executable code are 
compiled into separate, fixed-size 
overlays and swapped in and out of 
memory, dynamic segment swapping 



The Trend Indicator isn't flashing 
yet, but we've seen more hard- 
ware price cuts in the past several 
weeks than during any time in 
recent memory. One of the most 
noticeable price drops was on the 
Sun386i, which Sun lowered by 10 
percent to 15 percent; the system 
with 4 megabytes of RAM, a 15- 
inch monochrome monitor, and a 
91-megabyte hard disk drive now 
costs $8990. Dell reduced its 
System 200 line of 80286 ma- 
chines by as much as $400. NEC 
pared prices of its PowerMate SX 
by 11 percent to 14 percent and 
PowerMate 1 Plus prices by 11 
percent to 20 percent. American 
Mitac tweaked prices of its 
Paragon XTs, ATs, and 80386 
machines by as much as $200. 
TeleVideo pruned prices of its 
386/16 family by as much as 22 
percent. QMS reduced the jump- 
back prices of its ColorScript 100 
Model 30 and Model 20 printers, 
$21,995 and $16,995, respectively, 
to $19,995 and $15,995. Laser 
Connection trimmed the QMS-PS 
810 PostScript printer from $5495 
to $4995. Boca Research cut $200 
off its BocaR AM Micro Channel 
4-megabyte memory boards and 
$300 off its 4-megabyte 16-bit 
AT-compatible boards. AST 
knocked $200 off the price of the 
512K-byte RAMpagePlus/286 
board. And Microtek cut scanner 
prices by as much as $1300. 

Software prices haven't shown any 
sign of tumbling, but when IBM 
and Interleaf cut the price of IBM 
Interleaf Publisher, they cut it in a 
major way. The new version 1.0.1 
of the desktop publishing program, 
which runs on 80386-based 
systems, sells for $995; it used to 
cost $2495. The program also 
devours less memory now, cutting 
down its RAM consumption from 
6 megabytes to 2 megabytes. The 
memory diet is made possible by 
the addition of a run-time version 


AUGUST 1989 •BYTE 17 



of Phar Lap's DOS Extender, 
which uses paged virtual memory 
and permits use of 32-bit-wide 

Tandy (Fort Worth, TX) has given 
its DeskMate environment a slight 
face-lift. DeskMate, which comes 
free with Tandy computers and in 
a run-time version with some 
application programs, now has a 
more three-dimensional look, with 
features such as buttons that look 
pushed down when selected. In 
addition to a DOS shell and simple 
word processor, spreadsheet, and 
communications packages, 
DeskMate has a paint-style 
graphics program and a digital 
sound-manipulation program 
(which works with the sound 
circuitry of the Tandy 1000). For 
$149, you can add a WorkGroup 
program that provides printer 
sharing, file sharing, and E-mail 

Tennessee volunteers for ISDN: 

The South Central Bell phone 
company is planning to make 
Tennessee the first state in the 
nation with an all-digital telecom- 
munications infrastructure, paving 
the way for ISDN services to 
homes and businesses. The three- 
year, $900 million program is 
designed to replace electro- 
mechanical and analog central 
office computers with digital 
central office equipment and to 
double Tennessee's fiber-optic 
network from 12,000 to 25,000 
miles. By 1990, all Tennessee 
customers will be served with 
digital central office computers, 
according to a South Central Bell 
official. This doesn't mean all cus- 
tomers will have immediate access 
to an ISDN, he said. "Digital links 
provide the basis for ISDN access. 
Upgrading to ISDN will mostly 
involve adding software." 

Microsoft (Redmond, WA) has in- 
troduced a new version of FOR- 
TRAN that could be good news 
for programmers who do their 
work on expensive VAX and IBM 
mainframes but want to move to 
PCs. Microsoft's FORTRAN 5.0 
supports most of the syntax of 


lets you swap smaller segments of 
code at run time and in varying 
amounts, depending on what you're 
doing with the program. Many DOS 
programs employ fixed overlay files, 
typically from 30K bytes to more than 
100K bytes in size, that must be 
loaded into memory in their entirety 
whenever you use them. Large overlay 
segments limit the amount of free 
memory left over for data, such as text 
files, spreadsheets, and database 

VROOMM gets around the size 
restrictions imposed by fixed overlays 
by using 2K- to 4K-byte chunks of 
code (segments), which make up the 
complete application. In the dynamic- 
segment-swapping model, the pro- 
gram can decide on the fly (dynami- 
cally) which segments of code it needs 
in memory at any given time. If you 
are currently running the Window 
Manager, for example, the program 
brings in the segments of code 
required to operate the Window 
Manager. VROOMM also allows the 
application to juggle the amount of 

code in memory with the amount of 
data being stored in memory. 

Consider a user working on a large 
database table requiring a lot of 
memory; VROOMM can swap more 
segments out to disk or to expanded 
memory, if available. VROOMM 
stores the most frequently used code 
segments in an object cache. The 
cache can reside either on disk or in 
expanded memory. VROOMM 
assigns a priority to each code 
segment (called persistence prioritiza- 
tion), depending on the way you use 
the program (e.g. , whether you're 
working with reports, graphics, or 
data-entry forms). 

Will Borland make VROOMM 
available to other software develop- 
ers? According to Rob Dickerson, vice 
president of product development, the 
company has not resolved this 
question. At a recent meeting of the 
Boston Computer Society, Borland 
president Philippe Kahn said that the 
company "will provide the right tools" 
to other developers "when we can 
support them." 

Lisp's Future Linked to Other Languages 

Since its inception at MIT about 25 
years ago, Lisp has become the 
lingua franca of AI; because of its 
symbolic and procedural capabilities, 
many programmers choose it for 
developing rule-based or expert 
systems. However, AI applications 
and Lisp have not enjoyed the success 
anticipated by AI proponents. Lisp has 
a very large syntax (about 200 
primitives), and, according to some 
programmers, it is difficult to learn. 
Because it processes symbols and 
lists, Lisp requires a lot more comput- 
ing horsepower than conventional 
languages like C or Pascal, which deal 
with predefined, fixed-length data 
structures. As a result, Lisp has been 
hampered by slow performance and 
slow acceptance. In recent years, 
several Lisp companies have gone 
bankrupt, and the largest AI company, 
Symbolics, has suffered two straight 
years of losses. 

But some Lisp developers are 
optimistic about Lisp's future. With 
the industry's continuing advances in 
processing power, the performance of 
Lisp is becoming acceptable to more 
users. And developers are finally 
recognizing that the key to Lisp's 
success is integrating it into main- 

stream computing— in other words, 
allowing Lisp to be linked to existing 
applications written in other high-level 
languages (e.g., C and Pascal). 

The main trend in AI today is the 
integration of Lisp-based "intelligent 
add-ons" to existing database systems, 
says Pekka Pirinen, director of 
research and development for Intel- 
litech, a Lisp vendor based in 
Helsinki, Finland. An "intelligent add- 
on" might be a rule-based query 
system that acts as an interface to a 
large body of existing data. 

The key to the intelligent add-on 
concept is Lisp's ability to link 
directly to other high-level languages. 
If you simply add a direct function call 
to the Lisp application, the application 
can then link to and execute an 
existing C or Pascal program. Intel- 
litech has just announced a new Lisp 
product, called Entity Common Lisp, 
for 80386-based computers. Requiring 
4 megabytes of RAM and Microsoft 
Windows, ECL will feature links to C 
and Pascal compilers from Microsoft 
and Borland. According to Pirinen, 
ECL is the first Lisp product in the 
DOS environment that can be linked 
to other high-level languages. ECL is 


18 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Now QuickPascal makes this 
software gp even faster. 

access to your editor, debugger and compiler. 

What's more, QuickPascal is the first 
PC Pascal to offer Object Oriented Program- 
ming, or OOP With objects, you can easily 
assemble whole programs from modular build- 
ing blocks of code and data And once you know 
Pascal, OOP is a snap. Which means, you get 
maximum productivity with minimum effort. 

Naturally, our Pascal is also fully source 
compatible with Turbo Pascal! 

So stop by your Microsoft dealer soon. 

You'll find our software is on the same 
wavelength as yours. 


Making it all make sense: 

Customers in the U.S. call (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call (416) 673-7638. Outside North America, call (206) 882-8661. © Copyright 1989 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft and the 
Microsoft logo are registered trademarks and Making it all wake sense is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Turbo Pascal is a registered trademark of Borland International. 

Even the quickest minds tend to brake 
suddenly when confronting new languages. 

Enter new Microsoft* 
QuickPascal Compiler. 

The first Pascal that is 
not only powerful but easy, intui- 
tive and 100% headache-free. 

For example, our new 
hypertext QuickF^scal Advisor 
oners on-the-job training: by 
cutting and pasting sample code you can learn 
to program in Pascal from scratch. And if you 
do hit a snag, the Quick Advisor can straighten 
everything out right on the spot 

To accelerate your thought processes 
even more, all of our processes are seamlessly 
integrated; no other Pascal offers you easier 

Better is 

The new 16" MultiSync® 4D and 20" 5D both offer compatibility with 

a wide range of graphics boards and computer systems. 

NEC's award-winning 


multiple frequency 


technology, now available 


in larger, digitally 


controlled, high-resolution 


color monitors. 


Both are optimized for the IBM PS/2, PC/AT/XT (and 100% compat- 
ibles) and the Macintosh II. Both offer a microprocessor-based digital 

control system for preset and custom graphics modes, automatic screen 

JliSync is a icgisie'cd iiademafk o( NEC Home Eleciwucs (LISA) ir 


Computers and Communications 
20 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


configuration and optimal image. And both give you great resolution— 
the 4D, from VGA up to 1024 x 768; the 5D, from VGA to 1280 x 1024. 

The main difference: one is for large ideas. The other, for extra- 

IBM PC'AHXT and PS'2 arc registered trademarks ol ine internal -onal Business Vacnmes Corporation 

large. For literature, call 1-800-826-2255. For details, call NEC Home 

MAC II is registered trademark of Apple Computer. Inc 

Electronics (USA) Inc. 1-800-FONE-NEC. 

©1989 NEC Home Electronics (USA) lr 


AUGUST 1989 • B YTE 21 



IBM's Systems Application 
Architecture-compliant VS FOR- 
TRAN and important VAX FOR- 
TRAN extensions, such as 
FORTRAN 5.0 also supports the 
16-megabyte addressing capability 
of OS/2 and library routines 
without recompiling the entire 
application. Microsoft claims that 
FORTRAN is the main program- 
ming language used on over half of 
the VAX machines installed today. 
Microsoft's new version is based 
on FORTRAN 77. There is "still 
some amount of controversy" over 
the implementation of the upcom- 
ing FORTRAN 8X standard, a 
company official said. FORTRAN 
5.0 is available now at $450. 
Upgrades range from $100 to $250. 

Smalltalk + Schools = Object- 
Oriented Students: Hoping to 
raise the next generation of 
software engineers on object- 
oriented programming, Digitalk 
(Los Angeles) is offering educa- 
tional site licenses for its Smalltalk 
system. For $500, schools and 
universities that are registered users 
of the Smalltalk/V 286 or Small- 
talk/V Mac development environ- 
ments can install unlimited copies 
of the software on-site. To become 
a registered user requires buying 
Smalltalk ($199.95), but the site 
license includes a 30 percent 
discount on all Smalltalk products, 
so the software ends up costing 
$139.95. "Those relying on 
traditional procedural languages are 
struggling to adapt these older 
languages to complex environ- 
ments like the Macintosh," said 
Barbara Noparstak, Digitalk's 
director of marketing. "Educating a 
new class of programmer with tools 
that simplify this complexity will 
reap industry benefits in the years 
to come." 

Microtech International (Bran- 
ford, CT) has a new trade-in deal 
for Macintosh owners looking for a 
new hard disk drive. You can apply 
your hard disk drive, whether it 
works or not, and from any manu- 
facturer, toward purchase of a 
Microtech Nova internal or external 


priced at $995; a run-time kit is $495. 
The full integrated system was 
scheduled to be available this month, 
although a version without the 
language hooks was supposed to ship 

by July. (In the U.S. , ExperTelligence, 
Inc. (Goleta, CA), is selling the 
Intellitech package.) Intellitech says 
that it is also preparing a version of 
ECL for OS/2. 

Zenith's 2-inch Floppy Signals Shrinking Standard 

Zenith's introduction this month of 
its MinisPort points the way 
toward the next step in the shrinking 
of the personal computer: the 2-inch 
floppy disk. In an industry where 
smaller is better, the floppy disk will 
continue to shrink. With Zenith Data 
Systems adopting the smaller floppy 
disk, there's a good chance that the 
2-inch, 720K-byte floppy disk will 
become the standard storage medium 
on laptop computers sooner than most 
industry watchers expect. Other 
computer makers working on new 
laptops are also considering designs 
that use the 2-inch disks. 

The 2-inch 720K-byte disk has the 
identical read/write and magnetic 
format as 1.44-megabyte 3 I /2-inch 
disks. According to Zenith's market- 
ing director, Glenn Nelson, the basic 
engineering concept involves taking 
half the surface area of the magnetic 
film of a 1.44-megabyte 3 Vi-inch 
disk and putting it on the 2-inch disk, 
resulting in half the data capacity, or 
720K bytes. Although a 2-inch disk 

has only about one-third the surface 
area of a 3 Vi -inch disk, the 2-to-l 
reduction is possible because not all 
the surface area of a 3 l /2-inch disk is 
used on current 1.44-megabyte floppy 
disks (about half an inch of the outer 
radius of the 31/2-inch disk is not used 
to store data, according to Nelson). 
Nelson also said that the 2-inch disk 
drives perform approximately the 
same as their 3 Vi-inch counterparts. 

Nelson acknowledged that until the 
2-inch disk becomes a standard, little 
software will be available in the 2- 
inch format and users will have to rely 
on file transfer utilities to send 
applications and data to the 2-inch 
drive system from another computer, 
using the serial ports of the host and 
target systems. 

Nelson declined to comment on 
which manufacturers are supplying 
Zenith with the 2-inch drives. How- 
ever, 2-inch floppy disks are already 
in limited use in the video and camera 
market and are manufactured by Sony 
and other companies. 

ParcPlace to Put New Face on Smalltalk-80; 
PlansC++ Development Environment 

ParcPlace Systems (Mountain 
View, CA), the spin-off of 
Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, 
thinks object-oriented programming is 
the answer for big computer installa- 
tions bogged down in massive 
software projects. But first, the 
company has to remedy a major 
limitation of its Smalltalk-80 object- 
oriented programming language. 
Acceptance of Smalltalk-80 has been 
hampered by the fact that it runs in its 
own, incompatible windowing 
environment. Whether it's running on 
a Mac, an 80386-based microcom- 
puter, or a Sun workstation, Smalltalk- 
80 is not compatible with the host 
windowing system (e.g. , Macintosh, 
Microsoft Windows, or X Window). 

To overcome this problem, 
ParcPlace is working on a new 
interface called the Stencil Paint 

Imaging Model, which will include 
translators that "map" SPIM to the 
host imaging model (e.g. , PostScript 
or QuickDraw). The company is also 
adding extensions to Smalltalk-80 that 
will allow it to make function calls to 
the host windowing system. ParcPlace 
Systems hopes to have the SPIM 
upgrade ready by November and plans 
to offer a run-time version of Small- 
talk-80, which will allow developers 
to install Smalltalk-80 applications 
without the entire development 

ParcPlace is also diversifying into 
the C + + object-oriented programming 
language, which lets programmers add 
object-oriented extensions to C pro- 
grams. In conjunction with Glocken- 
spiel, Ltd., the company is readying a 
complete C + + development environ- 


22 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

FoxBASE+/Mac: Hie Most Celebrated Mac DBMS 
Now Includes a Powerful Report Writer! 

Mac Version 2.00 is 
e— and stealing the show! 
In its first year, FoxBASE+ /Mac 
won more awards— both in the U.S. 
and Europe— than any other DBMS ever 
created for the Macintosh! And Version 2.00 is 
faster and more powerful than ever— packed 
with innovative new features and language 

New FoxReport! 

FoxReport lets you create virtually any col- 
umnar or free-form report— without any pro- 
gramming! FoxReport includes: 

■ Page Layout: Designate many layout set- 
tings for your report: number of columns, left 
margin setting, column width, space between 
columns, measurement size for each page, 
and more! 

■ Report Layout Window: Define the dif- 
ferent areas within your report, using Fox- 
Report's new "band" system. Start with the 
default bands: Page Header, Body, and Page 

Footer, then bring in other bands like Title, 
Summary, Column Headers and Footers, etc. 

■ Object Menu: Control the Type Font, Sizes 
and Styles of text objects. Fill and Pen options 
let you change the color and shading of almost 
every object! 

■ Page Preview: "What-You-See-Is-What- 
You-Get" design ensures that the report on 
your screen is exactly as it will appear in print! 

■ Label Generator: Create labels of almost 
any size and configuration. You can even 
include pictures anywhere on the label space! 

New Features! 

■ Enhanced XCMD/XFCN Support: Load 
up to 16 external XCMD's and XFCN's, then 
access them directly from within Fox- 
BASE+ /Mac 2.00 programs! 

■ Language Enhancements: Other features 
include: support for custom hierarchical menus, 
new commands to help handle resources, new 
system functions to improve filename and 
screen management, and much more! 


Perfect Connectivity! 

FoxBASE+/Mac 2.00's Multi-User version 
allows complete data and application sharing 
between networked Macs and PCs! (when used 
with FoxBASE+ /LAN). It also runs on the 
most popular network systems: AppleShare, 
Novell and 3Com! . . . And IVs Faster Than 

Order or Upgrade Now! 

FoxBASE+/Mac Version 2.00 is the new 

Leader of the Mac! And at only $495 ($695 

for Multi-User), it's a phenomenal bargain! If 

you're already a FoxBASE+ /Mac registered 

user, you can upgrade to Version 2.00 for 

just $75! 

To order your copy (or ask for a FREE demo 

disk), call (419) 874-0162. Or visit your local 

quality software dealer. 

After all, when it comes to the Macintosh, 

Nothing Runs Like a Fox! 

FoxBASE, FoxBASE+/Mac, and FoxReport are trademarks of 
Fox Software. Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 

Circle 98 on Reader Service Card 

Fox Software 

Fox Software, Inc. 
134 W. South Boundary 
Perrysburg, OH 43551 

(419) 874-0162, Ext. 320 
Fax: (419) 874-8678 
Telex: 6503040827 Fox 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 23 

Designed to blow the 
doors off the hybrid languages 
of the programming world. 
Smalltalk /V does prototyp- 
ing the same way Shelby 
prototyped the Cobra. . . 
using a blend of technical 
expertise and seat-of-the- 

"Anyone can build a prototype by the 
by the seat of your pants." -carr^shelby 

J J JL Creator of the legendary 

pants savvy that's startlingly sophis- prototype. You test. You tinker. You 
ticated. First you doodle, design, change. And you keep on changing 
dream. Then you explore the pos- and test-driving and refining until 
sibilities and begin to assemble the the prototype is just the way it was 

meant to be. With no 


Pure Object Oriented 









Pascal with objects 





Exploratory Capabilities 

compromises. . . of 
any kind. But the 
most remarkable 
thing is this proto- 
type is not just a pro- 
totype. It runs, it 
races, it performs like 
the real application. 
Because it is the real 
application. And you 

Shelby Cobra 
achieve this feat without once hav- 
ing to go through the old "crash 
and burn" kind of programming so 
common with languages born in 
the age of mainframes. 


The concept behind an object-ori- 
ented programming system is rela- 
tively simple. You build more 
complex objects out of simpler 
ones. Much as you can build com- 
plicated designs with a Lego set. 
With Smalltalk/V a programmer 
can write a piece of code and then 

24 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 


accents in the 

I . 

winner's circle. 

"\^_^4obra. • 

His philosophy 

Jiist the name of 

was simple and 

. i its truck fear ■/ 

salty; _- •/ 

< into the hearts 

-■• "It doesn't 

., }f of-irace car ' ) 

matter whether 

.*lrivers of the 

; you're Jjuilding 
a h outhouse or 

'< '60s. I^d'hhns, .,- 

r Sebring, Tares 

a 1 caf . :\bii don^t 

« , Fiona '}. 

' ^omproruis^/' 

\'~' Suddenly ay 

■ . *' , "■' r 

'/Fexa s ajcawj \vas" < j J 
} reoJacing f ta kan. . ) 


□ Does a lot of your work involve 
prototyping/exploratory program- 

□ Are many of your problems difficult 
to define? 

□ Are external factors constantly 

□ Do you like to make changes from 
insights gathered along the way? 

□ Do you feel torn between efficiency 
and conceptual clarity? 

□ Are you developing for Multi- 
Finder or Presentation Manager? 

□ Are you tired of needless crashing? 

□ Are team projects getting harder to 
manage and complete on time? 

□ Flas your creativity been intimi- 
dated by the rigorous demands of 
the process? 

"Traditional computer languages 
and interfaces with their structure 
and detail, have appealed to those 
of us who are left-brained (more 
logical and analytical). On the 
other hand, object-oriented lan- 
guages and interfaces, with their 
emphasis on perception and the 
whole picture, invite those of us 
who are right- 

book. But you create a legend 

brained (more artistic 
and intuitive) to join 

With Smalltalk/V Smalltalk/V you can 

your mouse becomes a 

hot programming write a fugue without 

tool for either your 

MacoryourPC. having to build the 

You'll find that 

Smalltalk/V is souped 

up with lots of other 

high performance fen- QopS! LOQK WHAT 



tures, too. The Class 
Hierarchy Browser, 
Inspector, Debugger, 
Class Browser, 
Method Browser and 
Walkback window 
are all standard 

the computer revolu- 
tion as well." 
"Object-oriented programming is 
the key to the next great transition 
in personal computing." 

— NY Times 

"The software of the 
future, OOP promises 
not only to boost pro- 
reuse it again and again. The "in- grammer productivity but also put 
heritance" factor lets you create, powerful computing capabilities in 
enhance and refine your applica- the hands of non-techies." 
tions without constantly having to — Business Week 

re-invent the wheel. Or, as one 
programmer put it, "With 


Smalltalk/V $99.95 


Smalltalk/V 286 199.95 

(286 or 386 1.5 MB RAM) 

Smalltalk/V Mac 199.95 

(Plus, SE, II 1.5 MB RAM) 


Smalltalk/V. A product of Digitalk 
Inc., 9841 Airport Blvd., Los Angeles, 
CA 90045. For information or to find 
a dealer near you call: 


CompuServe 71361,1636 

MultiFinder is a trademark o f Apple Computer. 
Smalltalk A' is a registered trademark of Digitalk Inc. 
Prices subject to change without notice. 

Circle 82 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 25 



hard disk drive. Microtech will give 
you as much as $200 for the old 
drive. Nova disk drives run in size 
from 20 megabytes up to 320 
megabytes. The company has 
several bigger drives in the works. 

Sharp Electronics (Mahwah, NJ) 
has new software cards for the 
Wizard hand-held computer. The 
32K-byte and 64K-byte cards 
double and triple the Wizard's 
memory capacity in its memo, 
schedule, and telephone modes. 

If you work at home, you may 
sometimes lose a fax or modem 
transmission because someone 
accidentally picks up the extension 
phone to make a call. Interruption 
Blocker, from DesignTech Inter- 
national (Springfield, VA), is a 
telephone line guard that locks in 
your transmission and prevents 
others from breaking onto the line. 
You plug your phone into the 
mouse-size box, which connects to 
your telephone wall jack. Interrup- 
tion Blocker costs $15. 

Hitachi and Motorola are becom- 
ing the semiconductor industry's 
version of the forever-feuding 
Hatfield and McCoy clans. In the 
most recent shot fired, Hitachi 
accused Motorola of violating 
Hitachi patents with its 68030 
microprocessor, currently 
Motorola's top-of-the-line CPU. It 
all started back when the two 
companies, after a long spell of 
technology exchanges and cross- 
licensing agreements, hit a snag 
involving Hitachi's new H-series of 
microprocessors. Motorola sued the 
Japanese company, claiming that 
the H-series infringes on Motorola 
patents. Hitachi countersued, 
claiming Motorola violated Hitachi 
patents with one of its microcon- 
troller chips. Motorola fired back, 
claiming Hitachi violated a 
Motorola patent in that same case. 

Expenditures for computer soft- 
ware in the U.S. will hit $61 billion 
by 1993, says the market research 
firm Input (Mountain View, CA). 
In its latest report, Input says that's 
an increase of $36 billion over what 
was expended on software products 


ment that's written in Smalltalk- 
80 and shares two of that language's 
major features, incremental compiling 
and linking. The C + + product will 
initially be available only on Sun 

ParcPlace Systems is working on 
database "hooks" for Smalltalk-80. 
The integrated database capability will 
let you store Smalltalk-80 objects in a 
standard relational database. The first 
target database is Oracle, but 
ParcPlace plans to offer "back-end 
drivers" for other databases such as 

DB/2 and Sybase. The ability to 
access reusable objects as fields in a 
database has great potential in many 

"We're moving from the lunatic 
fringe to the Fortune 1000 market," 
said Doug Pollack, ParcPlace's vice 
president of marketing. Big financial 
institutions and corporate MIS 
departments are looking for ways out 
of the "software crisis" and are 
considering more revolutionary 
techniques and approaches, as 
represented by Smalltalk-80, he said. 

Toshiba's Low-Cost Systems Could Boost SPARC 

I f Toshiba actually delivers relatively 

low-cost computers based on the 
SPARC processor, as the company 
suggested when it announced that it 
would adopt the SPARC chip, it could 
be the best thing to happen yet to Sun 
Microsystems' RISC architecture. 
Toshiba's Computer Division has 
signed a deal with Sun to manufacture 
computers based on the SPARC (for 
scalable processor architecture) 
standard. Toshiba will build a "new 
class of high-performance, low-cost 
computers" based on SPARC proces- 
sors, the company said. Toshiba will 
also license Sun's SunOS version of 
Unix and the Open Look graphical 
user interface. 

SPARC processors are available 
from several chip manufacturers, 
including Bipolar Integrated Technol- 
ogy, LSI Logic, Cypress Semiconduc- 
tor, Fujitsu, and Texas Instruments. 

Toshiba said that it will announce its 
first SPARC machines in early 1990. 
Sun spokesperson Marty Coleman 
said Toshiba does not intend to 
compete directly with Sun's own 
workstation offerings but intends to 
"complement" them. While Sun has 

been fairly successful with the SPARC 
chip, SPARC-based machines still 
account for less than half of Sun's 
business, and Sun hopes to make 
SPARC a standard by recruiting other 
vendors to license the technology. 

Toshiba is not the first major 
computer manufacturer to license the 
SPARC technology. AT&T, TI, 
Unisys, and Xerox, among others, 
have publicly announced commit- 
ments to SPARC. However, Toshiba 
has greater experience in delivering 
machines to the mass market than do 
the other SPARC licensees, and it also 
has a stronger presence in the personal 
computer marketplace with its line of 
laptop computers. 

The only manufacturer other than 
Sun that is delivering SPARC-based 
machines is Solbourne Computer 
(Longmont, CO). As Coleman put it, 
"Solbourne proved that SPARC is 
clonable. Toshiba will prove that it 
can be produced in volume." The 
rather quiet Solbourne reported 
recently that it has signed distribution 
agreements, worth $19 million, with 
computer sellers in Australia, Greece, 
Taiwan, and Israel. 

Silicon Graphics Cuts Price of 3-D Workstation 

Workstations with sophisticated 
graphics capabilities continue to 
bump down in price as high-end 
personal computers seem to be 
bumping up. In the latest indication of 
the workstation's improving price/ 
performance curve, Silicon Graphics 
(Mountain View, CA) last month cut 
the price of its Personal Iris system by 
as much as 35 percent. The Personal 
Iris is a Unix-based graphics computer 

built around MIPS Computer Sys- 
tems' 32-bit R2000 RISC processor. 
The top-of-the-line model is capable 
of real-time three-dimensional 
imaging. Silicon Graphics rates the 
entry-level system's performance at 
10 million instructions per second; a 
new model, based on the MIPS R3000 
chip, performs at 16 MIPS, Silicon 
Graphics says. (For details about the 


26 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Cure Hayes fever. 


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Allergic to high modem prices? 

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Relief is fast. With MNP® level 5 data 
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The 2400etc/e supports both V.42 
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convenient access to frequently used 

Don't suffer from high prices. The ATI 
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You'll be relieved to know that the 
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Technology you canTrust 

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Circle 25 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 21 


CSR 286/20 SL 

After years of fi 

we built 

Introducing the 

best built, best backed 

286- and 386-based systems. 

Since 1983, CSR has been a leading microcomputer maintenance provider. 
We repair all major brands - IBMJ Compaq 1 and the best-known 
peripherals - for the largest dealer networks and third-party service 
companies nationwide. So when we decided to build our own 286- and 
386-based systems we knew how to make them even better. 

With CSR, you can put your confidence in a company that has it all - the 
service, support, performance and IBM compatibility you expect - but at 
prices that will surprise you. 

The industry's best Z-YEAR warranty. 

For the first full year we provide complete on-site service on all parts and 
labor. During the second year we'll repair or replace any parts that fail. 
This revolutionary warranty demonstrates the high degree of confidence 
we have in the quality and reliability of our computers. 

Plus, when you call our toll-free Technical Support Hotline you'll be 
connected to a highly-skilled Customer Engineer (CE). Your CE will 
either fix the problem over the phone or dispatch a Service Engineer 
to your site - within 24 hours of your call - for prompt, professional 
problem resolution. 

And what's best about this CSR-exclusive is that everything is included 
in the price of your computer! 

High performance, not a high price. 

CSR delivers high performance in every machine we make. Our 286/20 
uses an Intel f based 80286 chip that runs at a blazing 20 MHz and 
outperforms most 386-based machines. 

And unlike some of our competitors, we don't imbed the VGA or disk 
controllers on the mother board - that can just lock you out of future 
innovations. Instead, we provide a high-speed VGA controller which 
supports all VGA modes. And a totally IBM-compatible disk controller 
which features the latest in track-buffer technology to boost drive 
performance by an amazing 30% to 50% . 

Compatible with reality. 

You've invested a lot in software. That's reality. So we designed our machines 
to be 100% compatible with all your MS-DOS® and OS/2® software. 

And we know you have software on both 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" media. 
That's why all CSR computers have both size drives - even the low profile, 
small footprint 286/20 SL. It's a convenience we've added without adding 
to the price. 

Plus you'll find our high resolution high contrast VGA monitors and 
"clickable" keyboard to be consistent with your definition of how a 
computer should look and feel. 

Compatible with your budget. 

You may have computing needs that are incompatible with what other 
computer companies would like you to spend. Tell us the details of your 
needs. Then tell us your budget. And we'll build you a system that's 
compatible with both. 

So if you want a better built, better backed computer system, compare 
warranties. Compare specifications. Then pick up the phone and call 
us at 800-366-1277. We'll deliver what you need at prices that will 
surprise you. 

Full leasing options available. Rates begin as low as S60/mo. 
We accept MasterCard, VISA and certified checks. 

tThe brands or product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective 
holders. MS-DOS and OS/2 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 

Made in the USA. 

28 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

CSR 386/2 

xing their best, 
ours better. 

CSR 286/14 

CSR 286/14 SL 

• 80286lnfel based microprocessor running at 
14 MHz. 

• J MB RAM expandable to 16 MB (8 MB on the 
system board). * 

• Page mode interleave memory architecture, 

• High speed VGA controller. 

• Dual Diskette/Hard Disk Controller. 

• 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44MB diskette drive 

• Enhanced 101 tactile "click" keyboard with 
copy holder and dust cover. 

• Socket for Intel 80287 or Weitek math 

• 1 parallel, 1 serial port and a Microsoft 
compatible bus mouse port. 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots. ** 

• Power reset switch. 

• Security keylock. 

• AMI bios. 

• Real time-clock with battery backup. 

• MS-DOS and MS-OS/2 compatible. 

Popular Options 

1 MB to 16MB of high speed memory. 

80287 math coprocessor. 

Slim line case with one 5.25" and two 3.5" 

drive bays accessible 

NOTE: *L'p 108MB in SI. case. * * S expansion sioisin SI. case. 

CSR 286/14 

HardDisk Drives 


lore / Adaptc 
VGA Mono 

VGA Color 



SI, 699 



10 MB 40 MS 


SI ,899 





SI. 999 



90 MB 18MS 




150 MB 18MS 




CSR 286/20 SL 

CSR 286/20 

• 80286 Intel based microprocessor running at 
20 MHz. 

• 1 MB RAM expandable to 16 MB(8 MB on the 
system board). * 

• Page mode interleave memory architecture. 

• High' speed VGA controller, 

• Track buffered high speed dual diskette/hard 
disk controller. 

• 5.25" 1.2MBor3.5" 1.44 MB diskette drive 

• Enhanced 101 tactile "click" keyboard with 
copy holder and dust cover. 

• Socket for Intel 80287 or weitek math 

• 1 parallel, 1 serial port and a Microsoft 
compatible bus mouse port, 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots.** 

• 3 speed selectable 8 MHz, 16 MHz or 20 MHz 

• Power reset switch. 

• Security keylock. 

• AMI bios. 

• Real time clock with battery backup. 

• MS-DOS and MS-OS/2 compatible 

Popular Options 

2 MB to 16 MB of high speed memory. 

20 MHz math coprocessor. 

Slim line case with one 5.25" and two 35" 

drive bays accessible. 

NOTE: *Up lo 8 Mil tn SI. case. " 5 <;xpansion sl«ts in Si. case. 

Hard Disk Drives 

VGA Mono 

/ Adapters 

V r GA Color 

3.5" 1.44 MB 
Diskette Drive 

Si. 999 


40MB22 MS 



68 MB 11 MS 






CSR 386/20 

• Intel 80386 Microprocessor running at 
20 MHz. 

• I MB RA.M expandable to 16 MB on the 
system board. 

• Page mode interleave memory architecture. 

• Socket for 20 MHz Intel or Weitek math 

• 5.25" 1.2 MB or 35" 1.44 MB diskette drive 

• Track buffered liigh speed diskette/hard disk 

• Enhanced 101 tactile "click" keyboard with 
copy holder and dust cover. 

• High speed 16 bit VGA controller. 

• 1 parallel, 1 serial port and a Microsoft 
compatible bus mouse port. 

• 200 watt power supply. 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots. 

• Power reset switch. 
•Security keylock. 

• AMI bios. 

• Real time clock with battery backup. 

• MS-DOS and MS-OS/2 compatible. 

Popular Options 

2 MB to 16 MB expansion memory options. 
25 MHz Intel coprocessor chip. 
Internal or external tape backup. 

To order, 
please call 

CSk 386/20 
tlanlDlsk Drives 

Moniio s 
VGA Mono 

/ Adapters 

VGA Color 

40 MB 22 MS 



























CSR 386/25c 

• Intel 80386 Microprocessor running at 
25 MHz. 

• 1 MB RAM expandable to 16 MB on the 
system board. 

• Advanced Austek Cache memory controller 
with 32K of high speed static RAM Cache. 

• Page mode interleave memory architecture. 

• Socket for 25 MHz Intel or weitek math 

• 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44 MB diskette drive 

• Track buffered high speed diskette/hard disk 

• Enhanced 101 tactile "click" keyboard with 
copy holder and dust cover. 

• High speed 16' bit VGA controller. 

• 1 parallel, 1 serial port and a Microsoft 
compatible bus mouse port. 

• 200 watt power supply. 

• 8 industry standard expansion slots. 

• Power reset switch. 

• Security keylock. 

• Award bios. 

• Real time clock with battery backup. 

• MS-DOS and MS-OS/2 compatible. 

Popular Options 

2 MB to 16 MB expansion memory options. 
25 MHz Intel coprocessor chip. 
Internal or external tape backup. 


HudD.f k Drives 



150MB 18 MS 

322 MB 18 MS 


VGA Mono 

/ Adapters 

VGA Color 












Computer Systems Research 

We build ours better. 

Circle 65 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 29 



in 1988. The study projects that 
about $25 billion of that total $61 
billion will be spent on microcom- 
puter software. The rest will be 
split between mainframe and mini- 
computer products. 

In other positive news, another 
research firm claims that more than 
half the small businesses in the 
U.S. now use personal computers. 
According to CAP International 
(Norwell, MA), its latest national 
survey of firms with less than 100 
employees found that 52 percent 
have personal computers. When the 
company took the survey a year 
ago, the number was 46 percent. A 
CAP analyst said that 300,000 
small businesses bought their first 
personal computer last year, and of 
the 7 million microcomputers that 
CAP says were sold in the U.S. in 
1988, 2 million were bought by 
small businesses and home offices. 
About 14 percent of the companies 
said they intend to buy a personal 
computer in the year ahead. 

Rupp Corp. (New York City) has 
a new software hard disk drive lock 
that's designed to protect data 
against unauthorized access. 
Instead of encrypting each file, the 
FastLock utility ($69.95) encrypts 
only the file allocation table (FAT) 
of your hard disk. The table, which 
DOS uses to find individual files, 
makes the entire disk unusable 
when it's encrypted. A single 
password decrypts the FAT. If 
someone makes three unsuccessful 
attempts at giving the password, the 
computer locks up. 

For your eyes only: SkiSoft Pub- 
lishing (Lexington, MA) has 
developed software that lets you 
enlarge the text on a computer 
screen by as much as 300 percent, 
something laptop users in particular 
might find helpful. The memory- 
resident Eye Relief ($295) can 
display text on the screen ranging 
from the normal 80 columns by 25 
rows to up to 33 columns by 7 
rows. It also lets you change the 
space between lines and the space 
between letters. SkiSoft says that as 
you increase the size, the letters are 
tuned, so they have smooth edges 
instead of jagged ones. 

Personal Iris, see "Silicon Graphics 
Brings Down Cost of 3-D Graphics," 
November 1988 Microbytes.) 

The company cut the price of an 
entry-level diskless Personal Iris from 
about $18,000 to $12,500. The top 
system, with features for real-time 
three-dimensional operations, a 380- 
megabyte hard disk drive, and a 14- 
inch color monitor, has dropped in 
price from $35,000 to $25,500. The 
R3000-based models cost $4000 more. 
Starting at $12,500, the Personal Iris 
falls in the same price zone as souped- 
up 80386-based systems and color 
Macintoshes that have fewer graphics 

Silicon Graphics has also added 
something to the Personal Iris pack- 
age. Each system now comes with 
Wavefront Technologies' (Santa 

Barbara, CA) Personal Visualizer, a 
three-dimensional rendering and 
animation software package. The 
Personal Visualizer represents 
Wavefront's first entry into "lower- 
end" three-dimensional rendering and 
animation packages. The Visualizer is 
a menu-driven system for generating 
photo-realistic images from three- 
dimensional data. 

There's a good chance that Silicon 
Graphics' three-dimensional imaging 
technology and Wavefront's graphics 
software will show up in the next 
version of IBM's RT PC, which 
sources say will be coming soon. IBM 
has licensed Silicon Graphics' 
Geometry Engine and Graphics 
Library technology, which many 
industry observers agree IBM will use 
first in the next model of the RT. 

Reusable Objects Coming for PM Developers 

Although developers aren't exactly 
screaming for tools to build OS/2 
Presentation Manager programs, 
Eikon Systems (Foster City, CA) 
wants to be ready if developers start 
making the jump to the IBM/Micro- 
soft graphical operating system. For 
now, though, Eikon is selling sets of 
reusable graphical objects for the 
Microsoft Windows development 
environment; the company plans to 
offer PM versions soon, said Eikon 
president Kevin Welch. 

Eikon's Standard Control Pak 
focuses on Windows objects that can 
be used in dialog boxes or as a child of 
another window. It includes three 
classes of control icons: the palette for 
display and control of colors, push- 
button arrows, and picture frames for 
displaying bit maps and metafiles. 

For each class, the Standard Control 
Pak includes a dynamic link library 
and a sample application. Just one of 
these objects costs $125; source code 
costs $475. The Tools Control Pak 
($175, or $525 with source code) 
contains three additional control 
classes: a slider bar for selecting a 
value within a range; several kinds of 

rulers for defining position and spatial 
orientation; and a toolbox that displays 
an array of small icons, each repre- 
senting an operation. 

The Resource Scrapbook "handles 
anything that moves in a file in 
Windows," Welch said. It allows you 
to create and manage files that pass 
through Windows' shared memory 
block, the clipboard, and supports "all 
commonly used" clipboard formats, 
including color bit maps, PostScript 
text, TIFF, SYLK, DIF, and CSV, he 
said. It also lets developers trap 
Windows resources, such as cursors, 
icons, and dialog boxes. 

In the PM version of the Control 
Paks, the Resource Scrapbook will 
contain a facility to convert Windows 
bit maps, icons, cursors, and dialog 
boxes into PM equivalents. 

Due from Eikon this fall is a Win- 
dows program generator, currently 
called Modern Art, that's designed to 
allow nonprogrammers to assemble 
icons and connect them with arrows, 
creating code on the fly that can be 
tested interactively. "It's much more 
sophisticated than NeXT's Interface 
Builder," Welch claimed. 

NEWS STAFF SEEKS NEWS. DIAL (603) 924-9281. 

The BYTE news staff is always interested in hearing about new developments 
that might affect microcomputers , the way they work, or the way people work 
with them. If you know of a project that could shape the state of the art, please 
give us a call at (603) 924-9281 or write to us at One Phoenix Mill Lane, 
Peterborough, NH 03458. An electronic version of Microbytes, offering a wider 
variety of computer-related news on a daily basis, is available on BIX. 

30 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


our customers expect software that works. 
All the time. The key to software quality is 
exhaustive testing. It's also an engineer's 
worst nightmare. But it doesn't have to be. 
Because now you can automate your soft- 
ware testing. 
Introducing the Atron Evaluator. The first and 
only non-intrusive automated PC-based software 
testing tool. 

The Atron Evaluator automatically runs your soft- 
ware regression testing programs. All of them. All 
day. All night. Giving you thoroughly tested, higher 
quality software. 

The Atron Evaluator is hardware-based. And since 
it's non-intrusive, software behavior is tested with- 
out the risk of alteration. Once your tests have run, 
you can refer to automatically generated test reports 
to double-fcheck test results. 

The Atron Evaluator saves time. And time makes 
you money. Development cycles are shortened, so 
your software gets to market sooner. And while your 
test programs are running, you can be more produc- 
tive. Start a new project. Or go home. 

For more information about the Atron Evaluator, 
call us at 1-800-283-5933. And put an end to your 
worst nightmares. Automatically. 

A Division of CADRE Technologies 

Saratoga Office Center 
12950 Saratoga Avenue 
Saratoga, California 95070 

In Europe, contact; 

Elverex Limited, Enterprise House 
Plassey Technology Park, Limerick, Ireland 
QATraining Limited, Cecily Hill Castle 
Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL72EF, England 

Epson is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation. MM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Intel is a registered trademark 
of'Inlel Corporation. Equity is a trademark of Epson America, Inc., 2780 Lomita Blvd. .Torrance, CA 90505. (800) 922-8911. 



How Much Do You Need? 

It depends. Do you have a massive database to manipulate? 
Or lengthy reports to write? Do you want bolder, gutsier 
graphics? Or more sharply displayed spreadsheets? 

The point is, more power may not be the only 

^■--- ■ -■■• ■ 

The Equity 386/20 is answer. What you really need is a personal computer 

Epson's most powerful . . . 

with your ideal combination or features. 

computer. But is it 

Enter the efficient, affordable Epson® Equity™ line. 

the right Equity 

computer for you? Each machine provides a different degree of speed, power, 
memory and flexibility. And though the features vary from one Equity 
computer to the next, they all share one important thing in common. 
Epson's renowned reputation for quality, 
reliability and value. 

So which Epson Equity computer is 



most appropriate for the work you do ? YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF COMPANY. 1 

continued on following page 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 33 


Equity 1+ 

Equity le 

Equity 11+ 

8088 CPU 

8086 CPU 

80286 CPU 

80286 CPU 

80386 CPU 











640KB RAM 

640KB RAM 

640KB RAM 

640KB RAM 


continued from previous page 

For straightforward word process- 
ing, spreadsheets and business graphics, 
the 8088-powered Equity 1+ is an un- 
commonly good value. It's Epson's 
most popular computer with first-time 
buyers, schools and small businesses. 

Need more speed and color? Con- 
sider the intriguing Equity le. It's 25% 
faster than an IBM® Model 30 and fea- 
tures four available expansion slots— one 
more than IBM. Built-in MCGA video 
provides impressive color and clarity. In 
short, the Equity le is ideally suited for 
office work or for work you bring home 
from the office. 

At 12MHz, our agile Equity 11+ is 
the personal computer cornerstone 
many businesses are building on. The 
Intel® 80286 processor moves work along 
at a rapid clip, handling everything from 
database management to desktop pub- 
lishing with equal grace and efficiency. 

The Equity III+ delivers the same 
quick-paced 80286 performance plus 
nine expansion slots and room for five 

mass storage devices. It's the Equity 
80286-based computer with the greatest 
growth potential. 

For CAD/CAM users, database 
devotees and other serious power us- 
ers, there's the forceful yet affordable 
Epson Equity 386/20. This top-of-the- 
line 20MHz machine handles intense 
number crunching applications with 
great speed and sophistication. 

To see which Epson Equity com- 
puter fits your power requirements, visit 
your Epson Authorized Dealer. Or for a 
detailed brochure on any Epson Equity 
computer, phone (800) 922-8911. 

What you'll discover, quite quickly, 
is what you've been needing all along. 
An Epson. 



34 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Circle 129 on Reader Service Card 


and Ask BYTE 

Graphic Details 

I was very interested in your Product Fo- 
cus entitled "Graphic Details" by Stan- 
ford Diehl and Steve Apiki (January). 
For four years, our company, Rock 
Technologies, has been developing and 
marketing graphics software that is spe- 
cifically tailored to the construction in- 
dustry to graphically display material 
quantity take-offs. Our software in- 
cludes a utility to install drivers for all 
the digitizers mentioned in your review. 
I thought the article was informative 
and well done, but I was disappointed 
that you chose not to include an evalua- 
tion of Science Accessories products. 
Other than a brief paragraph in the text 
box "Digitizers with a Twist," the com- 
pany was not mentioned. The authors 
could have mentioned that Science Ac- 
cessories' and Rock Technologies' com- 
bined technologies have produced what I 
would consider the only truly portable 
large-area digitizer. Roctek's RD-48 
sonic digitizer will digitize 48 by 36 
inches and will fit into a case small 
enough to be considered carry-on lug- 
gage at any airline counter in the world. 

Gerry S. Ball 
Chairman, Rock Technologies Corp. 

Chandler, AZ 

80286 vs. 80386 

I operate my business with four com- 
puters—two Tandy 2000S 80186 ma- 
chines (almost the same as 80286s) and 
two 80286 machines. I write most of my 
own software using LMI FORTH + , but 
I bought the 80286 machines to give me 
access to the great pool of elegant mathe- 
matical software out there if I ever 
needed it. Oneof my machines is more or 
Jess designated to handle housekeeping, 
file indexing, budgeting, and so on, leav- 
ing me three machines for projects. If 
any operation gets so long as to be tedious 
to wait for, I just use another machine 
until it's ready. 

Now, I like to read about these 80386 
machines, but I don't seehow I couldjus- 
tif y one, at least not until I need more 
than 14 megabytes of core memory. I 
have multitasking without the benefit of 

double-space your letter on one side of the 
page and include your name and address. We 
can print listings and tables along with a 
letter if they are short and legible. Address 
correspondence to Letters Editor, BYTE, 
One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, 
NH 03458. 

Because of space limitations, we reserve 
the right to edit letters. Generally, it takes 
four months from the time we receive a letter 
until we publish it. 


an esoteric operating system devoted 
mostly to overhead. I also have 100 per- 
cent hardware backup. 80286 hardware 
is so cheap now that hardware solutions 
can be cheaper than software solutions. 
Mind you, as a programmer and a hard- 
ware nut, I'd love to have a true 32-bit 
machine to boss around, but the require- 
ments are going to have to be stronger 
and the machines a lot better before I will 
jump. I'm not trying to say that there are 
not many valid applications today where 
an 80386 is appropriate and necessary, 
but they're not on my desk yet. 

Roger Cain 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Windowing in Pascal 

I purchased my first copy of BYTE in 
1982, and I've been a regular reader ever 

A recent article that I enjoyed was 
"Turbo Pascal Windowing System" 
(February), in which Charles J. Butler 
detailed a windowing system he devel- 
oped for Turbo Pascal. This caught my 
interest because I would like to use pro- 
gramming tools in my applications. By 
"programming tools" I mean libraries or 
routines that add functions such as win- 
dowing, pull-down menus, and B-tree 
file indexing to languages like Pascal, 
BASIC, and C. 

I have developed several simple rou- 
tines that I use in my program^. These 
routines allow me to control the user in- 
terface and to use indexed files. Though 
these routines serve my purposes, I'd 
like to replace them with programming 


lOtech offers the 
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Sidney (2) 452 383 1 • Seoul 784-9942 • Munich and other European. 
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AUGUST 1989 'BYTE 35 


tools that would allow me to provide 
more functions in my programs and to 
streamline my code. I'd like to see BYTE 
do reviews and comparisons of program- 
ming tools for personal computer 

Randall L. Babcock 
Sidney, NE 

On Bridges 

Regarding Peter J. Kulik's letter (May) 
responding to my article "When One 
LAN Is Not Enough" (January), I would 
like to make several points. Specifically, 
Kulik made the following incorrect or 
misleading statements: 

• Bridges do not assume anything about 
any upper-layer protocols. As I men- 
tioned in my article, proper operation of 
the bridge assumes that two communicat- 
ing hosts share the same set of upper- 
layer protocols. Otherwise, cooperative 
data exchange will not occur. 

• My article discusses physical-layer 
bridges rather than Media Access Control 
(MAC)-layer bridges. In fact, the oppo- 
site is true. A physical-layer "bridge" is 
in fact a repeater, and the term bridge is 

not generally used in that case. 
• Bridges can be found between dissimi- 
lar networks. By this, Kulik means (this 
is clear from a subsequent portion of his 
letter) that a bridge can link two net- 
works that use different layer 1-3 proto- 
cols (e.g., an 802.5 LAN and an X.25 
network) and convey data from a host on 
one network to a host on another. This is 
in fact a router. The generally accepted 
definition of a bridge, and the one that 
has been standardized by the 802. 1 com- 
mittee, is "a device that links networks 
that have a common MAC service inter- 

William Stallings 
Prides Crossing, MA 

Controller Comments 

With reference to Basse O. Bondtote's 
letter (Ask BYTE, March), I wish to of- 
fer the following comments: 

1 . If you are using a run-length-limited 
(RLL) controller set in the translation 
mode, try to set the jumpers in your 
Western Digital hard disk drive control- 
ler card to the nontranslation mode. You 
can obtain the appropriate instructions 

from the Disk Controller User's Guide. 
Contact Western Digital Corp (2445 
McCabe Way, Irvine, CA 92714, (714) 
863-0102) for a copy of the guide. 

It is interesting to note that both Gib- 
son Research's SpinRite and Prime Solu- 
tions' Disk Technician Advanced will 
not work with RLL controllers set in the 
translation mode. 

2. Try varying your interleave factor up 
to l-to-10. You may see an improvement 
after l-to-6, especially if you are pres- 
ently using an accelerator card. An ac- 
celerator card slows down memory trans- 
fers to and from the expansion bus. Try 
this out (using an appropriate bench- 
mark) both with and without your accel- 
erator connected but with your original 
IBM PC XT or clone motherboard in the 
Turbo mode. 

3. You may want to consider changing 
your hard disk drive controller to one that 
can really squeeze the maximum data 
transfer rates from your hard disk drive. 

I wish BYTE could run a comparison 
of the various commonly available disk 
controllers for the IBM PC and XT. I'm 





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ability to communicate clearly and efficiently 
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Representing the cutting edge of modem tech- 
nology, the WorldPort line of portable modems 
combine a broad range of features that bring 
you the best value in modems today. Features 

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acoustic interface (300 and 1200 bps), battery 
power, shirt pocket size, and a tiny price. 

In fact, the WorldPort modems are the ultimate 
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the WorldPort 2400 comes with Carbon Copy 
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If you want a modem that works where you do, 
put the WorldPort Series to work f oryou. In 

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call us at 800-541-0345. (In New York, 516- 

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WorldPort 2400 is a trademark of Touchbase Systems, Inc. Carbon Copy PLUS is a trademark of Meridian Technology, Inc. 

36 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 255 on Reader Service Card 



^V< Y 


sure this would be of interest to readers. 
How about it? We know the future may 
belong to the 80286s, 80386SXes, and 
the 80386, but don't forget the 8088 and 
8086 crowd. 

Liew Kern Tote 
PetalingJaya, Malaysia 

Why Smalltalk? Why Pascal? 

I am writing with reference to "Small- 
talk Can Be Cheap" by Don Crabb 

I realize that the article only compared 
Smalltalk to Pascal (presumably to point 
out the reduction in programming code 
necessary to achieve the stated objec- 
tive), but I would like to make one addi- 
tional comparison for the same purpose. 

Why not BASIC? The listing below is 
written in standard BASIC. It is more 
than 30 characters shorter than the 
Smalltalk program, without relying on 
predefined routines. And at a quick 
glance, it is far more comprehensible. 

GRASP is clearly 
the hands-down winner 
In terms of sheer power, 
-flexibility, and speed. 

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Chatsworth, CA 

Index Information 

Sometimes I have to search long and hard 
for previous articles in BYTE. For exam- 
ple, in the March issue, the In Depth sec- 
tion resource list cites Actor software. I 
remembered a previous article on Actor, 
but it took me some time to find it (in the 
September 1987 issue). It would have 
been convenient to find this reference in 
the March issue. The indexes at the end 
of each issue are very useful for this kind 
of search. 

I believe that BYTE publishes annual 
indexes. How can I get them? 

P. Y. Narvor 
Nantes, France 

BYTE indexes for 1983-1984, 1985, 
1986, 1987, and 1988 are available for 
$3 each by writing to: BYTE, One Phoe- 
nix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. 


Random Access Thinking 

For many years, the thought that the 
human mind is a fantastic computer has 
impressed me greatly. Every so often, I 
think it advisable to pay it humble re- 
spect. Consider the human mind's fol- 
lowing capabilities: 

• Random access. How many computers 
can instantly recall names and events 
scores of years in the past and recon- 
struct relationships involving the seem- 
ingly unrelated? 

• Evaluation procedure. How many 
times have you collected a bundle of facts 
and data, each having different worths, 
and quickly processed them mentally to 
arrive at a meaningful answer? Do a de- 
cision table sometime when you have a 
decision to make that proves difficult to 

• Robotics. Have you ever given any 
thought to what would be involved to pro- 
gram a robot to tie a shoelace or twist a 
pretzel? Just imagine the number of 


38 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 187 on Reader Service Card 

IBM PC Image Processing Highlights. 

No. 2 in a series. 

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First, the DT2861 captures and displays 
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them, all at a real-time rate of 30 frames per second. 

Second, the DT7020 gives you 
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the DT2861 frame grabber (via the 
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Both boards contain multiple buffers, 
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Circle 75 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 39 


elements that need to be coordinated to 
accomplish these simple tasks. 

• Sensors. Have you ever been frustrated 
in an attempt to get an accurate measure 
of hot steel in a mill where scale and 
steam are a constant variable, and then 
found that a mill operator accurately 
called the correct temperature merely by 
visual judgment? 

• Management. Have you ever consid- 
ered what goes into a management deci- 
sion in putting a team together, whether 
it's for sports or business? Imagine the 
mind's ability to weigh such factors as 
compatibility, health, and attitude. 

Finally, we must realize that those 
ever-faster, ever-impressive machines 
that webuildare, in the end, a product of 
the human mind. 

SelwynV. Stickler, Jr. 
Vero Beach, FL 

Learning Through Experience 

This letter is in regard to a letter I sent 
previously that referred to an article on 
the Turbo EMS program in the Short 
Takes section of the March BYTE. 

In that letter, I stated that the primary 
reason that I purchased Turbo EMS was 
so that I could run Fontasy. I should have 
taken a little more time to investigate be- 
fore I wrote that letter. As it turns out, 
Fontasy will not run entirely correctly. 

It seems that when running Turbo 
EMS using the hard disk drive mode 
rather than RAM, Fontasy has problems. 
The conflict prevents Fontasy from 
printing correctly. Apparently, Fontasy 
can print only the graphics that are in the 
RAM window at any particular moment. 
When the next window is called from the 
hard disk drive, the program locks up. 
Also, problems arise when you attempt 
to use those fonts that ordinarily would 
require the expanded memory. Here 
again, we are dealing with hard disk 
drive access. Regular fonts seem to work 

The folks at Fontasy say that it is a 
timing problem. Accessing the hard disk 
drive simply takes too long. Fontasy can- 
not wait around that long. I can tell that 
Fontasy is, in fact, using the expanded 
memory. The way it paints the screen is a 
dead giveaway. In most respects, it 
works as it should, other than the above 
mentioned items. Things run very slow- 
ly, however. I have no complaint with 
this because I knew things would be slow 
from the start. 

Obviously, if I cannot print anything, 
there is no reason to use Turbo EMS with 
Fontasy. On the positive side, however, I 
have gained the ability to use the ex- 

panded memory in other ways. These 
uses justify Turbo EMS in my situation. 

I can now use WordPerfect and all my 
memory-resident programs without 
other unacceptable problems cropping 
up— with one exception. On my Leading 
Edge Model D, I can run MemoryMate 
resident along with Hot Line and PC 
Tools Deluxe. Each program stays out of 
the other's way. Not so when I try to run 
MemoryMate with these same programs 
on my NEC PowerMate 286 portable. 
MemoryMate gets stepped on in some 
way. The program can only paint line 
graphics on-screen. It cannot paint its 
proper display. Other than hardware dif- 
ferences, I have no exact idea why the 
identical configuration runs on one com- 
puter and not on the other. 

Fortunately, I have very little need for 
MemoryMate on the NEC. I have created 
a batch file that clears the other pro- 
grams out of the way when I need to use 
MemoryMate. It works quite well. I do 
use MemoryMate a lot on the Model D, 
however, with no problem. So things 
have worked out OK. 

At this time, I have not found a solu- 
tion for the problem with Fontasy. The 
folks at Lantana Technology said that 
they would look into the trouble, but I 
haven't heard anything from them yet. 
Here, too, I have created a batch file that 
clears the way for Fontasy. It's a shame 
that I have a need for these files. Other- 
wise, everything works OK. 

Charles T. Foley 
Hixson, TN 

Controller Correction 

I would like to thank BYTE for publish- 
ing Jeff Holtzman's interesting article, 
"Advanced Floppy Disk Drive Control- 
lers" (March). One slight correction is 
that Manzana MicroSystems' Mux Card 
lists for $89.95 (or $99.95 with the 3rd 
Internal Cable). Although, as Holtzman 
pointed out, the Mux Card does "per- 
form flawlessly" in both IBM PC XT 
and AT systems, an end user might make 
better use of a Manzana High Density 
Controller Card (HDC) in an XT system. 
The Manzana HDC replaces the original 
XT controller and supports up to four 
360K-byte or 1.2-megabyte 5^ -inch 
floppy disk drives (or four 720K-byte or 
1 .44-megabyte 3 l /2-inch drives) internal- 
ly or externally. Although it lists for only 
$94.95, the HDC includes a device 
driver to support both capacities of 3V2- 
inch disk drives. And with its built-in 
BIOS, it saves you a BIOS upgrade. 

David Gluck 

President, Manzana MicroSystems 

Goleta, CA 

A Certain Class of Problems 

While responding to a plea from two 
NASA scientists who were working on a 
magnetic shock problem, I discovered a 
class of problems that defy conventional 
numerical methods. These are problems 
described by differential equations that 
require solutions by computer calcula- 
tions. The conventional methods include 
all those that use approximations to the 
Taylor series, such as the Runge-Kutta 
methods and the predictor-corrector 

The conventional methods fail be- 
cause they have poor approximations to 
the Taylor series. A true Taylor-series 
method can handle this class of prob- 
lems. My article "The ATOMCC Tool- 
box" (April 1986 BYTE) and the latest 
ATOMFT version 2.50 are true Taylor- 
series methods. 

Here are some sample problems. They 
are described by mathematicians as ones 
that do not satisfy the Lipschitz condition 
where the solution becomes zero. The 
meaning of this statement is, "The solu- 
tion is unknown at zero." However, this 
is not what troubles the conventional 

In this collection, some problems can 
be solved correctly with computed solu- 
tions correctly traversing through the 
zero point. Some problems can be solved 
correctly with computed solutions cor- 
rectly stopping before the zero point. 
Other problems cannot be solved by the 
conventional methods. 

The clue about whether the solution of 
a problem should stop or continue beyond 
the zero point is provided by information 
about the singularities in the solutions. 
This information can also predict wheth- 
er the conventional methods will succeed 
or fail. 

In the list of problems, * is the inde- 
pendent variable, y ' is the derivative ofy 
with respect to *, and y " is the second de- 
rivative ofy with respect to x. 

1. y" = -0.5 - v' - (cos(*) + y')ly, 

start x = 0, end* =1.5, 

with y(0) = 1 andj'(O) = -0.95. 
2 y " = y > - y**(i/3), start* = 0, 

end* = 3.5, with y(0) = 1 

andy'(0) = l. 

3. y" = -0.5 -y' - (cos(*) + y')/y, 
start* = 0, end* = -0.43, 
withj(O) = landy'(O) = 1. 

4. y' = (* - \)ly, start* = 0, 
end* = 2, with^(O) = 1. 

5. y' = (2***3 - 2x)fy, start* = 0, 
end* = 2, withj(O) = 1. 

6.y' = -sin(*)*cos(*)Ay, start* = 0, 
end* = 2, with^(O) = 1. 


40 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

What we lost in pounds 
we gained in power. 

In Touch with Tomorrow 


When the readers of PC World 
magazine once again voted our 
lightweight T3100 "Top Laptop," 
we were flattered. 

And when PC Week gave it 
their Corporate Satisfaction Award, 
we were equally honored Everyone 
seemed to agree it was perfect 

Except us. Because we believe 
therek always room for improve- 
ment, we made a few not-so-minor 
adjustments to what's always been 
our most popular machine. 

First, we reduced its weight by 
nearly two pounds and renamed it 
theT3100e. (The "e," by the way, 
stands for enhanced.) 

Then we increased its speed 
from 8 tol2 MHz and gave it a new 
20MB hard disk with an access 
rate that's three times faster. 

Finally, we improved its versa- 
tility with an IBM-compatible ex- 
pansion slot that lets you access 
LANs, mainframes and more. 

All of which leads to one very 
powerful conclusion. 

Our loss is definitely your gain. 

For more information call 1-800-457-7777 Toshiba PCs 
are backed by the Exceptional Care Program (enrollment 
required). IBM is a registered trademark of International 
Business Machines Corp. 

T3100e: 12MHz 286 with 80287 coprocessor socket, 
internal half-length IBM slot, 20MB hard disk with 
27msec access, 1MB RAM expandable to 5MB, gas 
plasma display, 1.44MB 3W diskette drive. 

Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Computer Systems Division 
Circle 252 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 253) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 41 

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P.O. Box 201, Dept. BYTE, Cornville, AZ 86325 


Problems 3 and 4 can be solved cor- 
rectly by the conventional methods. 
Problem 5 can be solved only with the 
highest precision. Problems 1,2, and 6 
cannot be solved by the conventional 
methods. It may interest you that in prob- 
lem 1, the numerator (cos(;c) + y') is 
zero at the same point where y = 0. 

The most disturbing fact is not that the 
conventional methods fail to solve some 
of these problems, but that they do so 
without any warning. A robust numerical 
algorithm must be able to identify those 
problems that it cannot solve and to in- 
form its user. The conventional methods 
are not robust for this class of problems. 
For example, their solution for problem 6 
at* =2 has the wrong sign! I am very in- 
terested to hear what happens when you 
apply your favorite method to these 

By the way, even ATOMCC has diffi- 
culty with problem 1. The newest 
ATOMFT version 2.50 handles it with 

Y. F. Chang 
Claremont, CA 

The Amiga and Multitasking 

I found Phillip Robinson's overview of 
PS/2, Macintosh, and Amiga graphics 
("Variations on a Screen," April Graphics 
Supplement) interesting but, in the case 
ofthe Amiga, misleading in two ways. 

First, Robinson writes, "Because [the 
trio of custom ICs] can handle video in- 
formation while the main CPU is work- 
ing on other tasks, the Amiga has a de- 
gree of 'multitasking'— the ability to 
handle more than one job at a time." The 
custom ICs do indeed relieve the CPU of 
a large part of the graphics burden. But 
they are not what makes the Amiga a 
multitasking machine. 

The Amiga is multitasking from its 
software foundation up. The system soft- 
ware allows multiple tasks to share the 
resources of the Amiga, both hardware 
and software, simultaneously. There are 
sophisticated means for intertask com- 
munication. Each task gets a share of 
CPU time in a manner that is transparent 
to it. The programmer need not make al- 
lowances for multitasking other than not 
hogging system resources. And each pro- 
gram thinks it is the only one running on 
the Amiga. Some programmers are im- 
polite enough to write programs that take 
over the Amiga, effectively disabling 
multitasking, but that is restricted main- 
ly to games. 

Second, the photo of the Amiga's 
screen that was used to illustrate Amiga 
graphics was a poor example of what 


42 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 290 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 291) 

These unretouched print 
samples show the superior 
print quality of QMS-PS 810 
over printers using first- 
generation print engines. 





v </ 




"-(9 ♦' 

ntroducing the PostScript laser printer 
that blacks out at high speeds. 

The new 
QMS -PS 810 
printer jf 

The new QMS-PS* 810 can compose and print 
the most complex pages in record times, with 
richer, more saturated blacks than ever before. 
All with the desktop publishing power of Adobe 
PostScript*, and the superior print know-how of 
QMS, an industry leader. 

Under the hood QMS ASAP™ (Advanced Sys- 
tem Architecture for PostScript) is proprietary 
technology that helps eliminate the hardware 
bottlenecks that hinder other PostScript printers. 
As a result, QMS-PS 810 boasts processing speeds 
remarkably faster than other PostScript printers 
in its class. And faster output means greater pro- 
ductivity. In addition, the QMS-PS 810 laser 

printer's new Canon* 
SX* print engine 
covers solid areas and 
prints fine detail 
better than previous- 
generation engines. 

©1987 User Connection 

East start, strong finish You can adorn your 
documents with one or all of the 35 Adobe 
typefaces. Thanks to PostScript, there's an 
infinite number of font variations available. You 
can also make type as large or as small as you 
want And put it anywhere on the page. In fact, 
with PostScript you enjoy total control over the 
design of your page. It gives you the complete 
desktop publishing power to do things that 
would otherwise be virtually impossible. So you 
get high-quality output exactly how you want it 

Along with PostScript, the HP LaserJet*™ 
Diablo* 630 and HP-GL™ printer emulations 
are added for your non-PostScript software. 

The QMS-PS 810 laser printer is easy to 
use, maintain, and comes with a one-year war- 
ranty. It's available from Laser Connection 
dealers. Laser Connection is a sales and 
marketing subsidiary of QMS. For the dealer 
nearest you call 1-800-523-2696 . 



A QMS' company 

The following are trademarks of their respective companies: QMS, QMS-PS, ASAP, 
Laser Connection of QMS, Inc. PostScript of Adobe Systems. Inc. Canon, Canon 
SX of Canon, U.S.A. User Jet + , HP-CL of Hewlett-Packard. Diablo of Xerox Corp. 

Circle 199 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 43 


makes it so popular in the graphics 
world. Your photo looked like a CGA 
screen, not at all indicative of typical 
Amiga graphics. You could have used a 
hold and modify (HAM) image (e.g., 
girl with lollipop). Even the "low" reso- 
lution King Tut, with 32 colors, would 
have been better than an apparently four- 
color Flight Simulator screen. 

Ron Charlton 
Knoxville, 77V 

A Better Mousetrap? 

I just finished reading the section on 
Unix in the May issue. I was thinking: 
What if one of the major computer com- 
panies, like IBM or AT&T, were to come 
up with a system that had some type of 
switch or button that switched between a 
Unix and a DOS board? Wouldn't a com- 
puter like this become a bestseller? 

With such a machine, when Unix 
takes over for DOS as the standard sys- 
tem—as has been theorized— DOS could 
go out slowly, as many have predicted it 
will do. Or, even better, these two sys- 
tems could work side by side. 

Aaron Turpen 
Alpine, UT 


Losing Memory 

I own a Dell 3 10 (an AT compatible). I'd 
like to write a program that will tell me 
how much RAM is currently being used 
by memory-resident programs. Can you 
suggest a book and/or technique that will 
help me? 

Michael Beaupre 
Minneapolis, MN 

You don't need a program to do that. 
CHKDSK will work. Simply execute 
CHKDSK right after bootup, and it will 
tell you how much memory is available 
after DOS is loaded. Then load a TSR 
program whose memory use you wish to 
determine, and execute CHKDSK again. 
The available memory will have been re- 
duced by whatever amount the TSR pro- 
gram has used. 

It could be that your goal is to produce 
programs that are intelligent enough to 
determine the amount of available mem- 
ory remaining after you've loaded all 
your TSR programs. You can determine 

that by using DOS INT 2IH, function 
48 H (allocate memory). Simply call this 
function, requesting OFFFFH para- 
graphs' worth of memory. The call will 
fail (DOS doesn 't have that much mem- 
ory available), but in so doing, the inter- 
rupt will tell you the largest available 
memory block. Assuming you haven 't re- 
moved any TSR programs since bootup 
(thus creating a "hole " in your memory 
map), the largest available memory block 
will be equal to the amount of remaining 
free memory. 

You '11 find information regarding this 
interrupt (and much more) in The New 
Peter Norton (although I liked the old one 
just fine) Programmer's Guide to the 
IBM PC & PS/2 by Peter Norton and 
Richard Wilton (Microsoft Press, 16011 
Northeast 36th Way, Box 97017, Red- 
mond, WA 98073). -R. G. 

Unix Questions 

Mark Minasi's article ("OS/2 for 
Cheap," April) was excellent. But how 
about an article on a Unix starter system 
for cheap? I've never used Unix before, 
so I'd probably want to start out with the 




gging help has arrived. 

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From LOGITECH Software 

Circle 148 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 149) 

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Z-286 LP. For your nearest 
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dealer, call: 





Less Is More With Zenith's Z-286 LP & 
Award-Winning Flat Technology Monitor. 







YgMiTH I data 

" I systems 


■^Source: Dataquest 

Graphics simulate Microsoft* Windows, a product and trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 

MS-DOS and MS OS/2 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 

Circle 284 on Reader Service Card 

) 1989, Zenith Data Systems 
AUGUST 1989 

BYTE 45 


MKS Toolkit and my familiar IBM PC 
software. Still, I have a few questions 
about converting to Unix: Is my 80286 
AT adequate for Unix, or should I switch 
to an 80386 system when I decide to use 
Unix exclusively? How much DRAM 
should the system have to run Unix com- 
fortably? How much space does Unix re- 
quire on a hard disk? Finally, what is the 
difference between Unix and Xenix? 

Eric Alexander 
Hudson, OH 

The cheapest way to become familiar 
with Unix commands is to use a Unix 
shell on your DOS machine. MKS Toolkit 
is System V-oriented with a Korn shell 
(probably the new standard as of System 
V.4). PolyShell is Berkeley style. You can 
convert from a DOS 80286 AT machine 
to a Unix machine gradually (a more ex- 
pensive proposition) by purchasing Xenix 
for the 80286. All you need is a total of 2 
megabytes of RAM; it will work with less, 
but I don 't recommend it. Unix is defi- 

nitely more efficient and stable on the 
80386. Unix is a 32-bit operating system, 
so the memory should be 32-bit memory. 
For most single-user work, 2 megabytes is 
enough. If you go for any DOS bridges 
(Merge or VP/ix), add 1 megabyte for 
each concurrent DOS process. 

Since installing Unix on an existing 
system requires a Unix partition, you will 
have to repartition your disk; all data 
will be erased. The Unix partition should 
have a minimum of 15 megabytes of disk 
space, and you 7/ need more for the com- 
piler and libraries, communications, text 
processing, and typesetting. 

Where users are concerned, the differ- 
ence between Unix and Xenix is small. 
Most 80386 Unix operating systems can 
recognize and run Xenix applications. 
Later this year, The Santa Cruz Opera- 
tion will have 80386 Unix as a replace- 
ment for its 80386 Xenix. SCO will con- 
tinue to support and develop enhancements 
for 80286 Xenix for a long time. I used 
80286 Xenix for years and found it more 
than adequate. If you're starting fresh, 
go with an 80386 system. But if you al- 
ready have a 80286 and don 't expect to 
plug in a lot of concurrent users, just buy 
a little more RAM and 80286 Xenix. 

MKS Toolkit 

Mortice Kern Systems, Inc. 

35 King St. N 

Waterloo, Ontario N2J2W9, Canada 



Polytron Corp. 

1 700 Northwest 167th Place 

Beaverton, OR 97006 

(503) 645-1150 

SCO Unix/Xenix 

The Santa Cruz Operation 


P.O. Box 1900 

Santa Cruz, CA 95061 

(408) 425-7222 

-B. S. 


In the response to a June Ask BYTE letter 
that discussed the difference between the 
80386 and the 80386SX, we referred 
readers to our February cover story. We 
should have referred readers to our 
March cover story, "Battle of the 
Chips." We apologize for any inconve- 
nience that this error has caused. ■ 

46 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 244 on Reader Service Card 

Circle 43 on Reader Service Card 

Chaos Manor 

Jerry Pournelle answers questions about his column 
and related computer topics 

The Future of Computing 

Dear Jerry, 

Having read the January 1989 edition 
of BYTE, I was surprised to see that you 
didn't have an entry in the feature article 
"What Lies Ahead. " More than five 
years ago, you wrote an article for BYTE 
that was entitled "The Next Five Years in 
Microcomputers." And you probably 
thought we wouldn't remember. 

Rereading that article provides an in- 
teresting lesson in how times change. 
Valdocs (remember the Epson QX-10?), 
the Osborne with bundled software, the 
Apple Lisa, the argument over 8086 ver- 
sus 68000 microprocessors — those were 
the hot topics way back in 1983. 

On the whole, you did a good job of 
prognosticating (though you should re- 
frain from taking large sums to the race- 
track). Do you care to pick up the crystal 
ball again? 

Michael Anthony Kellar 
Clifton Heights, PA 

I sure do remember my five-year predic- 
tion. I think my projection of the growth 
of this industry was much higher than 
anyone else 's—and mine was far too low. 
Back then, I was writing a column for the 
late and lamented Popular Computing 
called 'The Computer Revolution, " and 
I meant every word of that. 

The Osborne did indeed change the 
nature of the industry; it had done so by 
the time I wrote that. Prior to the Os- 
borne, you had to go to a store and get a 
pile of boxes, which you tried to integrate 
into a system that would work. (You could 
also get a TRS-80, if you were interested 
in being part of Tandy 's Quality Assur- 
ance Department.) Adam *s machine had 
too small a screen, but by gollies it did 
work, and it was portable. 

I'll have to give some thought to an- 
other predictions column. Perhaps for 
September again, just to be symmetrical. 


Paying for Technical Support 

Dear Jerry, 

Imagine this. You go and buy a new 
car. After you've had it for a few days, 

one of the windows won't roll down. It 
used to roll down just fine, but now it 
won't go down at all. You look through 
all the manuals that came with the car, 
but you can't find anything about why the 
window won't go down. So you take the 
car into the dealer and ask the salesper- 
son why your window won't go down. 
The salesperson tells you that you acci- 
dentally hit a button on your front door 
panel that locks that window. He tells 
you that it's clearly stated in the footnote 
on page 259 of the manual. Then he 
hands you a bill for $12 for the 12 min- 
utes you talked to him. 

How many of us would just accept that 
bill? After all, we just paid a lot of money 
for the car, and who could find that foot- 
note on page 259? After we paid all that 
money, we shouldn't have to pay just to 
have someone tell us how to use some of 
the more esoteric features. Yet how many 
times do we pay the same type of bills to 
software manufacturers? We spend hun- 
dreds of dollars on their software and 
then have some problem that we can't 
find in the manual, for which they charge 
us $1 per minute to talk to them! 

I understand that companies get a lot of 
calls and that they have to hire people to 
answer phones, which costs a lot of 
money. But that's part of doing business, 
isn't it? How many manufacturers of any- 
thing but software do you know who 
charge you $1 a minute to talk to you if 
you have a problem with their product? I 
can't think of any offhand. 

Most of the calls that companies re- 
ceive are for problems that the users 
could have solved by looking in their 
manuals. However, most of the calls I 
have placed for technical support have 
been due to either actual bugs in pro- 
grams or to awful documentation that 


Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psy- 
chology and is a science fiction writer 
who also earns a comfortable living writ- 
ing about computers present and future. 
He can be reached c/o BYTE, One Phoe- 
nix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458, 
or on BIX as 'jerryp. " 


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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 47 

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leaves out important information. Why 
should I have to pay to talk to the com- 
pany about something that's really its 
fault anyway? 

I wonder if these companies purposely 
write bad documentation, thus forcing 
users to incur extra expense. I wouldn't 
be at all surprised. Do they purposely 
put bugs in their programs? 

Perhaps $1 per minute would not be 
unbelievably excessive if a user received 
decent help. But, in my experience, the 
usual answer to a question like, "Why 
does your program do this, when it's 
supposed to do that?" is, "Gee, I don't 
know" or "I've never heard that one." 
Rarely, that I can recall, has technical 
support been any help. 

I think this problem of technical sup- 
port ought to be the next big issue in com- 
puting. Now that we've mostly gotten rid 
of copy protection, let's try to get rid of 
these excessive and unfair support 
charges. After all, if a reasonably knowl- 
edgeable person has to spend more 
money on technical support than he or 
she spent on the program in the first 
place, then something is wrong with the 
program or documentation, not the user. 
Kevin Clark 
Front Royal, VA 

I used to spend a lot of time berating soft- 
ware publishers for their lousy documen- 
tation; indeed, sometimes I still do. I am 
about to conclude that there are few com- 
panies willing to pay documentation writ- 
ers anything like what they re worth. They 
pay the programmer, but the writer is left 
to the last minute. They also don *t have 
anyone copyediting the documentation. 

On the other hand, some programs, 
such as Traveling Software's LapLink, 
don 't need documents. 

As to technical support, some outfits 
do an excellent job of that. Two compa- 
nies and their programs— Arts Computer 
Products' Word Perfect and Aldus 's 
PageMaker— come to mind. The other- 
day I called Aldus to get its press relations 
people. None were around, but the tech- 
nical-support people were there, and did 
I want to talk to them? Of course, other 
outfits hire cretins to answer the phone, 
who then turn technical-support prob- 
lems over to chimpanzees. 

Finally, my friends in the technical- 
support business tell me that about half 
the calls are about problems unrelated to 
their product at all. The customer has 
480K bytes of his or her system taken up 
with memory-resident programs or is try- 
ing to run an EGA program on a CGA sys- 
tem, or hasn 7 even plugged the machine 
in. —Jerry 

Unix Developments 

Dear Jerry, 

I understand why you tell your readers 
that you're not a Unix expert. Unix is a 
big and powerful operating system, 
understood in its entirety by few. As a 
person who was an early IBM PC user 
but a recent Unix convert, I can appreci- 
ate the challenge of commenting on Unix 
in general and on Unix on the 80386 in 
particular. Please accept the following 
comments in that 1 ight: 

• The Santa Cruz Operation's brand of 
Unix is Xenix, not Unix, but it will prob- 
ably be called Unix in the future. 

• The Unix/Xenix spreadsheets and 
word processor tend to be quite plain 
when compared to their DOS counter- 
parts. But those are classic workstation 
applications that are best processed on 
essentially freestanding systems. Frank- 
ly, even with all the overlapping win- 
dows and color of DOS-based DBMSes, 
they tend to be rather pale in comparison 
to Unix-/Xenix-based DBMSes. Unix is, 
after all, designed basically for a multi- 
user environment. 

• VP/ix from The Santa Cruz Operation 
and Interactive Systems also allows DOS 
to be run as a task under Unix. My com- 
pany will be doing that in a production 
environment soon, if you're interested in 
the results. We have found VP/ix reason- 
ably easy to install (not the same thing as 
simply typing INSTALL and pressing 
Return to accept the defaults, though). 

• Unix does multitasking. Even on my 
relatively slow AT&T 3B1, it's possible 
to create multiple graphical windows and 
observe them working. For a more prim- 
itive demonstration, place multiple Unix 
processes in the background, and they'll 
process concurrently. The message you 
received informing you that the network 
version was required sounds like a spe- 
cial case. 

Philip G. Duffy 


Electronic Cottage Associates 

West Chester, PA 

I'm always interested in new develop- 
ments. Thanks. 

My quarrel with Unix is that while 
DOS applications do sort of run, they 
don 't actually run very well in general, 
while the Unix-specific stuff is very va- 
nilla compared to what is available under 

But, then, the supercomputer people 
have to put up with writing their pro- 
grams as 100,000 lines of FORTRAN 
using editors more primitive than we had 
under CP/Ml— Jerry ■ 

48 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 








DESKPRO 386/33 

Now it's possible to do just about anything you can 
think of, faster than you can think. 

Introducing the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386/33 
Personal Computer. Never before has so much 
performance, expand- 
ability and storage 
been put into one 
desktop PC. And 
never before has one 
PC been capable of 
so much. 

Inside its new 
system unit, you'll 
find that our engineers 

have redesigned just about every component to 
deliver a minicomputer level of power with 
unmatched PC flexibility. 

So you can use it as a stand-alone 
PC, putting its power to 
work on the most 
demanding CAD/CAE, 
financial analysis, 
and other 

Or you 
can spread 
the power around, using the COMPAQ 
DESKPRO 386/33 as the driving force 
for a network or multiuser system. 
At the heart of the system is the 
Intel 386™ microprocessor. Running at 
a blazing 33 MHz, it works in concert 
with a series of technological advance- 
ments. Like a 33-MHz cache memory 
controller with 64K of high-speed 
static RAM. Interleaved memory archi- 
tecture. And the exclusive COMPAQ 
Flexible Advanced Systems Architecture, 

This high-performance combination 
delivers a 35% performance improvement in 

CPU-intensive applications over 25-MHz 386 

cache-based PC's. 

Or said another way, nothing will slow you 

down. No matter what you want to do. 

You can expand 
the 2 MB of standard 
RAM up to 16 MB 
using the high-speed 
32-bit slot. That leaves 
up to six industry- 
standard slots free 
to customize the 
system to the 
demands of 

A total of 

eight expansion slots 
let you customize the system 
to your needs by expanding 
memory and choosing from 
thousands of industry- 
standard expansion boards. 

the application you're using. 
If your job is particularly 
demanding, you can use up to 
five high-performance inter- 
nal storage devices to hold up 
to 1.3 gigabytes of data. And 
if that's not enough, bring 
total system 
storage to 2.6 

High-speed VGA graphics 
are built in. And for greater 
graphics capabilities, add the 
optional COMPAQ Advanced 
Graphics 1024 Board. 

make it easy to connect pointing 
gigabytes With devices, printers, plotters or 
6 ° 2 other peripherals without using 

the Optional an expansion slot. 

COMPAQ Fixed Disk Expansion Unit. 

There's more. You can run MS-DOS®, 
MS @ OS/2, Microsoft* Windows/386 
and the XENIX" and UNIX @ operating 
systems. Access memory over 640K 
under DOS with the COMPAQ 
Expanded Memory Manager that sup- 
ports Lotus/Intef/Microsoft (LIM) 4.0. 
And speed through calculations with 
33-MHz Intel 387™ and Weitek 3167 
coprocessor options. 

All the new advancements engi- 
neered into the COMPAQ DESKPRO 
386/33 deliver an unmatched level of 
power, expandability and storage. 

To do anything you want. 


It simply works better! 




In 1986, Compaq introduced the world to personal 
computers based on the 386 microprocessor. 

Since then, we've made it possible for every 
level of user to work with this powerful technol- 
ogy. In fact, more people work with COMPAQ 
386-based PC's than any other 386's worldwide. 

Today Compaq offers the broadest line of 
these high-performance personal computers. 
Each delivers significant technological advance- 
ments developed by Compaq engineers. Each 
delivers optimum performance for the needs of 
different users. And each is built to the highest 
standards for compatibility and reliability. 

For power-hungry users who want 386 
performance to go, the COMPAQ PORTABLE 386 
Personal Computer does things normally reserved 
for a desktop 386 PC. Without compromise. 

For people considering 286 desktops, the 
COMPAQ DESKPRO 386s Personal Computer is 
an affordable way to move up to 386 performance. 
And if you have a 286 that you've outgrown, the 
COMPAQ DESKPRO 386/20e Personal Computer 

is an easy step up to the power and capabilities of a 
20-MHz 386 machine. 

For the increasing needs of today's 386 users, 
the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386/25 Personal Com- 
puter offers advanced performance. And for those 
who desire the most power and expandability 
available in a desktop PC, the COMPAQ 
DESKPRO 386/33 stands alone. 

For a free brochure on COMPAQ 386-based 
personal computers and the location of your 
nearest Authorized COMPAQ Computer Dealer, 
call 1-800-231-0900, Operator 93. In Canada, 
1-800-263-5868, Operator 93. 

It simply works better,*" Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
Intel^ Intel 386 and Intel 387 are trademarks of Intel Corporation. 
Microsoft^ MS: XENIX* and MS-DOS* are trademarks ofMicrosof t 
Corporation. MS* Windows/386 and MS* OS/2 are products of 
Microsoft Corporation. UNIX® is a registered trademark of AT&T.® 
"Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Product names 
mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks 
of other companies. COMPAQ DESKPRO 386/25 graphics © 1988 
Accent Software, Inc. ©1989 Compaq Computer Corporation. All 
rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. 


It simply works better? 

What's New 



Entourage Ships 
MCA Clones 

Whether you prefer 
IBM's Micro Channel 
Architecture, the AT archi- 
tecture, or the proposed EISA 
bus architecture, MCA-com- 
patible machines are becoming 
more widespread. 

320MC, MCA clones from 
start-up Entourage Computer 
Corp. , feature better perfor- 
mance and lower cost than 
IBM's PS/2 models 50Z, 55, 
and 70, the company says. 

System 3 16XMC is a zero- 
wait-state 16-MHz 80386SX 
with 1 megabyte of RAM 
that's upgradable to 8 mega- 
bytes using 80-ns single in- 
line memory modules on the 
motherboard. Built-in floppy 
and hard disk drive controllers 
support a standard 19-ms 40- 
megabyte SCSI hard disk drive 
and your choice of a 3 te-inch 
or 5 14 -inch floppy disk drive. 
There are three 16-bit expan- 
sion slots. 

System 320MC is a zero- 
wait-state 20-MHz 80386 with 
1 megabyte of RAM that is 
upgradable to 16 megabytes. It 
also comes (optionally) with 
the 40-megabyte hard disk 
drive and your choice of a 
floppy disk drive. Expansion is 
through two 32-bit MCA slots 
and a 16-bit MCA slot. 

Both systems feature 102- 
key PS/2-style keyboards as 
standard equipment, but 
monitors are optional . Other 
options include math co- 
processors, MS-DOS version 
3.3 or 4.01, and OS/2 version 

Price: 3 16XMC, $1895; 
with hard disk drive, $2395; 
320MC, $2895; with hard 
disk drive, $3395. 

PS/2 clones feature MCA performance. 

Contact: Entourage Com- 
puter Corp., 10919 Technol- 
ogy Place, Suite B, San 
Diego, CA 92127, (619) 
Inquiry 1126. 

Mitac Clones IBM's 
Model 55; Includes 

If you want an alternative to 
IBM's Model 55 SX, the re- 
cently introduced 80386SX- 
based Micro Channel Archi- 
tecture microcomputer, you 
might try Mitac's MPS2386. It 
has the same 80386SX CPU, 
an MCA bus licensed from 
IBM, and many of the same 

One advantage of Mitac's 
system is that its base price- 
about the same as IBM's— in- 
cludes an internal 1.2-mega- 
byte 5 14 -inch floppy disk 
drive. With IBM's Model 55, 
5V4 -inch drives can be sup- 
ported only externally. 

Mitac peripherals match 
IBM's also. The MPS2386 
uses the same 640- by 480- 

pixel Tatung monitor, and it 
ships with 1 megabyte of 
RAM (expandable to 8 mega- 
bytes of 32-bit RAM on the 

Mitac's on-board VGA 
adapter comes from Paradise 
and is "auto-switchable" to 
EGA and CGA modes. There's 
also a dedicated mouse port 
on the back of the box. 
Price: including keyboard 
and MS-DOS, $2995. Tatung 
Monitor, $549. 
Contact: American Mitac 
Corp., 410 East Plumeria Dr., 
San Jose, CA, 95134, (800) 
Inquiry 1127. 

Unix Sidesteps 
with NEC 

NEC's Astra XL/ 100, 
and XL/200 are 68030- 
based Unix machines that 
contribute to the unclear dis- 
tinction between microcom- 
puters and workstations. 

In stripped-down configu- 
rations, both systems offer 25- 
MHz zero- wait-state perfor- 


We 'd like to consider your product for publication. Send us full 
information, including its price, ship date, and an address and 
telephone number where readers can get further information. Send 
to New Products Editor, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peter- 
borough, NH 03458. Information contained in these items is based 
on manufacturers ' written statements and/or telephone interviews 
with BYTE reporters. BYTE has not formally reviewed each product 
mentioned. These items, along with additional new product 
announcements, are posted regularly on BIX in the microbytes. sw 
and microbytes. hw conferences. 

mance, 2 megabytes of 
standard RAM, 8K bytes of 
cache memory, and a 1.2- 
megabyte 5 U-inch floppy 
disk drive. 

The bare-bones Astra 
XL/ 100, which is bundled with 
Unix System V, can support 
up to eight users. It includes an 
MC68881 floating-point co- 
processor and memory expand- 
able to 10 megabytes. It has 
eight free 32-bit Multibus 

One version of a preconf i- 
gured XL/100 includes an 
extra 2 megabytes of RAM, a 
dumb terminal with cabling, 
an 18-ns, 130-megabyte 
ESDI hard disk drive, a 150- 
megabyte tape drive with the 
operating system on tape, and 
an eight -port controller. 

The XL/200 ups the ante a 
few notches by supporting up 
to 32 users with an optional 
software license. In its bare- 
bones configuration, it in- 
cludes an MC68882 floating- 
point coprocessor and RAM 
expandable to a whopping 34 
megabytes. It can be up- 
graded with an optional Ad- 
vanced Terminal Subsystem 
add-in card to an XL/300 sys- 
tem to support up to 64 

A preconf igured XL/200 
with a minimum of extras in- 
cludes 6 megabytes of RAM, 
a dumb terminal with cabling, 
an eight-port terminal con- 
troller, an 18-ns, 130-mega- 
byte ESDI drive, a 150-mega- 
byte tape drive with the 
operating system on tape, and 
a license for up to 16 users. 
Price: XL/ 100, $8995; 
XL/200, $13,995; configured 
XL/100, $15,995; config- 
ured XL/200, $23,995. 
Contact: NEC Information 
Systems, Inc., 1414 Massachu- 
setts Ave., Boxborough, MA 
Inquiry 1128. 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 49 



Jasmine's DAT 
Stores Gigabytes 

The Jasmine DirectDigi- 
tal Tape drive can store up 
to 1 .27 gigabytes of data on a 
single 4-mm chromium dioxide 
tape that's less than the size 
of an audio cassette tape. 

The sustained data transfer 
rate is 174K bytes per second 
through a standard SCSI 
port, and the drive is capable 
of locating a single byte of in- 
formation anywhere on the 
tape in not more than 40 sec- 
onds, Jasmine claims. 

The Jasmine DirectDigital 
Tape drive is a hybrid of many 
sources: It uses a half-height 
JVC drive mechanism, pack- 
aged by GigaTrend into a 
full-height drive with I/O; 
Racet provided the drive en- 
closure and the software. 

The formatting standard is 
Data/DAT, also favored by 
Apple and NCR, rather than 
the DDS format pushed by 
Sony and Hewlett-Packard, 
Jasmine says. This permits the 
drive to find data quickly and 
to rewrite changes incremen- 
tally, instead of rewriting the 
whole file if a change is made 
to it. The drive has a record- 
ing density of 61 ,000 bits per 
inch (using a helical scan 
technique, like a VCR) with 
almost 1900 tracks per inch. 
Price: $6995. 

Contact: Jasmine Technol- 
ogies, Inc., 1740 Army St., 
San Francisco, CA 94124, 
Inquiry 1130. 

DirectDigital drive features DAT cassettes. 

HP Offers 
a Mac-Specific 
Ink-Jet Printer 

The new Hewlett-Packard 
DeskWriter printer is a 
modified DeskJet, a 300-dpi 
ink jet for the Mac market. 
Gone are the serial and paral- 
lel interfaces and the cartridge 
ports— replaced by an Image- 
Writer-style connector and 
QuickDraw compatibility. 

DeskWriter comes with 
four built-in font families 
(Times, Helvetica, Courier, 
and Symbol); also available are 
five other font families. 

Font scaling is through 
proprietary "Intellifont font- 
scaling technology," HP 
says. These are outline fonts, 
scalable to 250 points. 
Price: $1195; optional fonts, 
$95 each or five for $395. 
Contact: Hewlett-Packard 

Company Inquiries, 19310 
Pruneridge Ave., Cupertino, 
CA 95014, (800)752-0900. 
Inquiry 1132. 

Mac Drive Features 



The Microtech R45 hard 
disk drive features 25-ms 
average access time and 
removable cartridges that 
can store as much as 42.7 
megabytes o f formatted 

The interface is SCSI, and 
Microtech says it's compatible 
with the Macintosh Plus, II, 
SE, and IIx. It measures 3 by 
10 by 11 inches. Included in 
the base price is the drive, 
cabling, and one SyQuest 
SQ400 cartridge. 
Price: $1099; additional car- 
tridges, $90. 

Contact: Microtech Interna- 
tional, Inc., 29 Business Park 
Dr., Branford, CT 06405, 
(800) 325-1895 or (203) 
Inquiry 1131. 

CD-ROM Doubles 
as Audio Player 

Chinon America thinks 
you should be able to use 
the same device for personal 
computer data storage and for 
audio entertainment. The 
CDS-430 drive lets your com- 
puter use Sony and Philips 
CD-ROM disks, with 530 
megabytes of available stor- 
age space, as a data storage/ 
replay medium and as a drive 
for your audio entertainment. 

It's packaged in a 13- by 
1 1- by 3-inch box and connects 
to your computer system 
through the SCSI port. Micro- 
soft CD-ROM Extensions 
software enables reading of 
any disk written in the High 
Sierra format. 

The system will automati- 
cally recognize whether the 
compact disk is ROM or 
audio and use the appropriate 
command format for either, 
Chinon says. It can also read a 
mixed audio/CD-ROM disk. 
Price: $695; Extensions soft- 
ware, $150. 

Contact: Chinon America, 
Inc . , 660 Maple Ave. , Tor- 
rance, CA 90503, (213) 
Inquiry 1134. 


Store 2.8 Megabytes on 3 1 /2-inch Floppy Disks 

The Megamate 2.8 is a 
SVi-inch floppy disk 
drive that can store 2.8 
megabytes on your average 
3 l /2-inch floppy disks. It 
works because of the propri- 
etary floppy disk controller, 
The CompatiCard IV con- 

troller allows Micro Solu- 
tions to double recording fre- 
quency. That means it writes 
twice as fast, writing to 36 
sectors per track. Standard 
1.44-megabyte drives write 
to 18 sectors, and 720K-byte 
drives use nine sectors. 
The drive itself, manufac- 

tured by TEAC, is backward 
compatible with the standard 
floppy disk drives, including 
the PS/2 drives. 

The CompatiCard IV con- 
troller is a half-length card 
that's XT and AT compat- 
ible. Each card supports up 
to four 3 l /2-inch or 5 V4-inch 

floppy disk drives. One 
cable is included. 
Price: $395; or $149 for 
CompatiCard IV. 
Contact: Micro Solutions, 
Inc., 132 West Lincoln 
Hwy., DeKalb, IL 60115, 
Inquiry 1133. 

50 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

After centuries of practice, 

mankind perfects engineering 

calculations: MathCAD. 

Announcing MathCAD 2.5: 
The Dawn of a New Age. 

What the historians will call it, 
only time will tell. 

Perhaps the Century of Speed, or 
the Era of Ease. But whatever the 
name, this is the age of MathCAD 2.5, 
the only math package that looks 
and works the way you think. 


MathCAD 2. 5 includes 3-D plotting, HPGL sketch 
impart, and PostScript output. 

MathCAD is far and away the 
best-selling math package in the 
world. Because it lets you perform 
engineering and scientific calcula- 
tions in a way that's faster, more 
natural and less error-prone than 
the way you're doing them now- 
whether you're using a scratchpad, 
calculator, spreadsheet or program 
that you wrote yourself. 

And now we've made the best 
even better. MathCAD 2.5 is a dra- 
matically improved version that in- 
cludes three-dimensional plotting, 
enhanced numerical analysis, and 
the ability to import HPGL files 
from most popular CAD programs, 
including AutoCAD.® And now you 
can print on PostScript® compatible 

And like before, MathC AD's live 
document interface™ lets you enter 

equations anywhere on the screen, 
add text to support your work, and 
graph the results. Then print your 
analysis in presentation-quality 

It has over 120 commonly used 
functions built right in, for handling 
equations and formulas, as well as 
exponentials, differentials, cubic 
splines, FFTs and matrices. 

No matter what kind of math you 
do, MathCAD 2. 5 has a solution 
for you. In fact, it's used by over 
50,000 engineers and scientists, 
including electrical, industrial, and 
mechanical engineers, physicists, 
biologists, and economists. 
But don't take our word 
for it; just ask the experts. 
PC Magazine recently 
described MathCAD as 
"everything you have ever 
dreamed of in a mathemat- 
ical toolbox." 

And for Macintosh® 
users, we present MathCAD 2.0, 
rewritten to take full advantage of 
the Macintosh interface. Entering 
operators and Greek letters into 
equations is pure simplicity! 

Look for MathCAD 2.5 at your 
local software dealer, or give us a 
call. For more information, a free 
demo disk, or upgrade information * 
dial 1-800-MATHCAD (in MA, 

*If you purchased MathCAD 2. between 
5/1/89 and 6/16/89, you can get a FREE 
upgrade to version 2.5 (otherwise, the up- 
grade cost is $99. 00 until June 30, 1989; 
afterwards, the cost will be $149. 00) . 



March 14, 
1989 issue. 


MathSoft, Inc. One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Available for IBM® Compatibles and Macintosh Computers. TM and (ii) signify manufacturer's trademark or manufacturer's registered trademark respectively. p£ 

Circle 156 on Reader Service Card AUGUST 1989 • B Y T E 51 




Any Microcomputer 

to 33 M FLOPs 

The Spirit-30 is a float- 
ing-point accelerator 
board for performance ap- 
proaching 33 million floating- 
point operations per second. 
With the Texas Instruments 
TMS320C30 digital signal 
processor at its heart, it works 
with XT, AT, Macintosh, 
PS/2, VMEbus, Multibus II, 
and Q-bus based computers. 

Each Spirit-30 includes 
128K bytes of dual-access 25- 
ns static RAM that is accessi- 
ble by both the host and the 
Spirit-30. A daughterboard 
gives you an additional 5 12K 
bytes of RAM, with as much 
as 16 megabytes of external 
memory available through 
the Spirit-30's parallel port 
and bus interface. 

For data acquisition, mem- 
ory expansion, frame grabber 
and graphics boards, the 
Spirit-30 has six expansion 
connectors. Multiple Spirit- 
30s can be configured through 
the serial or parallel ports. 

Support software includes 
windows-based evaluation, de- 
bugging, simulation, and 
real-time digital signal pro- 
cessing (EDSP). A library 
(DSPL) is included to initiate 
program download, start 
DSP execution, halt DSP exe- 
cution, and perform single- 
block read/write to and from 
the board and DSP memory. 

In all, the DSPL gives you 
35 DSP and utility modules in 
C. They incorporate func- 
tions like spectrum analysis, 
FFTs, and discrete cosine 

Price: $2495; EDSP soft- 
ware, $495; DSPL, $295; 
source code, $985. 
Contact: Sonitech Interna- 
tional, Inc., 83 Fullerbrook 
Rd.,Wellesley, MA 02181, 
(617) 235-6824. 
Inquiry 1138. 

Number crunch with the Spirit-30. 

Replace Algorithms 
with Thinking 

Two companies recently 
claimed firsts in neural 
networking by offering com- 
mercial silicon implementa- 
tions of popular neural net- 
working theories. 

Syntonic Systems intro- 
duced an XT-compatible eval- 
uation kit with the Dendros-1 
chip, an analog device that 
works with one of several 
popular neural net 

Partially self-organizing, 
the chip stores "remembered" 
patterns in capacitors. Den- 
dros-1 also performs a key cal- 
culation—input and weight 
vector multiplication— in par- 
allel, achieving the equiva- 
lent of 4.3 MFLOPS perfor- 
mance, Syntonic says. 

The way the nodes are 
wired determines the type of 
architecture in a neural net. 
The architecture in turn deter- 
mines the learning algo- 
rithms. So if you're going to 
hard-wire a chip to speed up 
execution of a particular algo- 
rithm, you're stuck with it. 

Dendros- 1 implements a 

Make Graphics 

a Whiz with the FastWrite VGA 

The FastWrite VGA from 
Headland Technology 
is designed to be faster than 
the original FastWrite. It's 
fast, the company claims, 
because it uses an enhanced 
version of the V7VGA chip. 

Headland claims the chip 
is 100 percent register-level 
compatible with the VGA 
standard, is BIOS-level com- 
patible with the EGA stan- 
dard, and is also backward 
compatible with CGA, 
MDA, and HGC standards. 

Each V7VGA chip also 
features memory caching, 8- 
or 16-bit memory and BIOS 
interfaces, and support of 
four resolutions beyond the 
1 7 standard VGA modes. In- 
terlaced resolution reaches 

up to 1024 by 768 pixels, 
with up to 16 displayed 

Each three-quarter- 
length FastWrite VGA is 
configured with 256K bytes 
of on-board memory that's 
upgradable t o 5 1 2K bytes. 1 1 
comes packaged with soft- 
ware drivers for graphics- 
intensive applications: Win- 
dows/286, Windows/386, 
Presentation Manager, 
AutoCAD, AutoShade, Ven- 
tura Publisher, GEM/3, 
Lotus 1 -2-3, and Symphony. 
Price: $499. 

Contact: Headland Tech- 
nology, Inc., 46335 Land- 
ing Pkwy., Fremont, CA 
94538, (415) 656-7800. 
Inquiry 1137. 

variant of the "adaptive reso- 
nance theory" (ART-1), a 
two-layer network architec- 
ture. It has three input layer 
nodes and five output layer 
nodes. It will accept up to 22 
bi-level input signals, and 
these can be presented via a 
PC, although output from Den- 
dros-1 is limited to an LED 

Dendros-1 is packaged in a 
68-pin plastic leaded chip car- 
rier. An evaluation board in- 
cludes eight chips. 
Price: $695. 

Contact: Syntonic Systems, 
Inc., 20790 Northwest Quail 
Hollow Dr., Portland, OR 
Inquiry 1135. 

Micro Devices 
Hopfield Neuron 

The Fuzzy Set Compara- 
tor is a CMOS neural chip 
that's included in Micro De- 
vices' neural networking kit, 
an XT-compatible add-in 
board. It implements the popu- 
lar Hopfield theory of neural 
networking in silicon. 

With the Fuzzy Set Com- 
parator, the kit is designed for 
adaptive ranking and for 
ranking "fuzzy" data (data 
with inaccuracies, noise, or 
other discrepancies) in groups 
by certain predetermined 

Once the data is ranked, a 
neural network hardware post- 
processor ranks the compari- 
sons, thus providing a superior 
rank-calculation speed over 
software implementations of 
neural networks, Micro De- 
vices claims. A built-in video 
interface also allows the 
Fuzzy Set Comparator chip to 
"see" and "identify" 
Price: $250. 

Contact: Micro Devices, 
5643 Beggs Rd., Orlando, FL 
Inquiry 1136. 


52 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

If You Want To Talk 

Fast DBMS 

Call l-800-db_RAIMA 

And Start Screaming 

You'll be screaming, all 
right. dbVISTA III from 
Raima Corporation 
combines the flexibility of a 
relational DBMS and the 
lightning speed of the 
network database model. 

I db_VISTA III is 
written for C 
! Programmers. 
Source code available. The 

interactive database utilities and 
outstanding documentation make 
db_VISTA III easy to learn. All 
applications are portable to VMS, 
UNIX, OS/2, MS-DOS, even 
Macintosh. No royalties. 

dbJVISTA III is Fast . Using 
benchmarks originated at PC Tech 
Journal Laboratories, dbJVISTA 
III measured 3 to 12 times faster 
than the average relational 
database! Call us and we'll send 
you the results. 

dbJVISTA HI Database Development System 




db QUERY 2.1 SQUbased Qut 

Operating Systems*: VMS, ULTRD 

Macintosh and MS Windows. OS/2 ei 

C Compilers*: Most compilers suppi 

C++ commiti h e 

WKS Librarv: 

Read & Write WKS. WK1 & DBF 




Database Development System 

and all related records can be 
immediately available using the 
network model. You decide how 
to combine these for best 
application performance. . 

I SQL Support with 
SQL-based db_QUERY, 
I db_VISTA Ill's rela- 
tional query and report writer. 

db VISTA Puts You in 
Some Fast Company. 

Thousands of C programmers in 
over 50 countries worldwide use 
dbJVISTA III, including 
Federal Express, Hewlett- 
Packard, IBM, NASA... 

Don't wait. Call Raima for more 
information about how you can 
build applications that are 

Call 1-800 

(That's 1-800-327-2 





Gr.3^45 146th Place S.E., gcT&e^Xv-^. ' 7-5570 Telex: 6503018237 MCI UW FAX: (206,747-1991 Texas: (214)231-3131 International Distr.butors: 

919 Germany- 07127/5^44 Svvii tiO France: (I U6092S28 Benelux: 31(02159)46 814 Sweden: (013)124780 Italy: 045/58471 1 Norway: 47 244 88 55 

Denmark- H887249 Singapore: 468 3888 Austn ^ 5 1 22 Japan: (03)473 7432 Taiwan: (02)5 1 1 3277 Mexico: (83) 57 35 94 Central America: (506) 28 07 64 

Caribbean: (809) 834 4069 Colombia: 57 1 218 9245 Argentina: 54 1313 537 1 Chile: 56 2 696-1308 Uraguay: 92 19 37 Brazil: (0192) 52 9770 © 1989 

It's Microsoft® Month in 


I Miawofl0^2 zS^ 
! 1 Presentation Manf&r Toolkit 




Microsoft , the industry trend 
setter at providing language 
tools for the software developer 
has done it again, with three 
new products to lead the way 
into the 90's. And Program- 
mer's Paradise, the world's 
leading source of development 
software is ready to ship them 
to you. Call us today to order 
these and other outstanding 
Microsoft software products. 

Microsoft OS/2 Presentation Manager Toolkit 

The Microsoft OS/2 Presentation Manager Toolkit provides a complete set of visually- 
oriented software tools and documentation to help you develop the next generation 
of graphical applications for the OS/2 Presentation Manager. Presentation Manager 
provides a consistent, graphical user interface that makes applications easy to learn 
and use. The Toolkit includes the software to create and customize drop-down menus, 
dialog boxes, icons, and fonts that make this intuitive environment possible. Also 
included is a complete set of reference documentation; QuickHelp, the on-line, context 
sensitive reference; HelpMake to add to the QuickHelp database; over 3 MB of sample 
code; and 2 free hours of on-line support. 

Microsoft QuickPASCAL 

A powerful new implementation of 
Pascal that provides superior productivity 
and performance to current Pascal 
programmers, and also opens the door 
to object-oriented programming. 

The QuickPASCAL compiler and linker 
are the fastest available for Pascal on a 
PC, assuring superior performance. 

And QuickPASCAL integrates a compiler, 
editor and debugger into one highly 
productive, intuitive environment. 

Object-oriented programming is expected 
to be the major programming development 
of the 1990s. Microsoft's implementation of 
object-oriented constructs in QuickPASCAL 
will provide you with an easy, smooth 
transition into object-oriented techniques. 

Microsoft QuickC Compiler with QuickAssembler 

Microsoft QuickC Compiler with QuickAssembler is the first product to fully integrate 
C and assembly language into one seamless environment, giving you maximum 
power and ease of use. Write and edit source code in C; accelerate speed-critical 
routines or gain low-level access to your hardware with assembly language; compile, 
assemble, run, and debug-all within the same integrated software development 
system. Comprehensive reference guides and innovative on-line learning tools make 
the two languages and the unique integrated environment easy to master. Two 
popular languages, one smooth environment-the power of C and the speed of 
assembler, together at last! Amazing! 


1 1 


1 Ntkiv^l^iCCw^ 
I wkhQuidAssen*fcr 



MS 13ASIC/6.0 









MS Excel 



MS Excel (MAC) 






MS Learning DOS 



MS Mach 20 



MS Macro Assembler 



MS Mouse Bus or Serial 

w/ Paintbrush & Mouse Menus 



w/ EasyCAD 



w/ Paintbrush & Windows 



MS OS/2 Presentation Manager Softset 



MS OS/2 Presentation Manager Toolkit 




MS Pageview 


MS Pascal 


MS PowerPoint (MAC) 






MS QuickC 


MS QuickC with QuickAssembler 




MS Sort 


MS Windows/286 


MS Windows/386 


MS Windows Software Development Kit 


MS Word 


MS Word (MAC) 


MS Works 











Programmer's Paradise 445-7899 










High C 386 


Novell C Network Compiler 


Advantage Disassembler 


MS M t icro Assembler 


SOURCERw/ BIOS source 

Turbo Assembler/Debugger 


CraphPak Professional 




QuickPak Professional 

QuickWindows Advanced 



Turbo Basic 

















































Source code analysis tool designed for 
projects involving large masses of C 
code. CODAN analyzes and extracts 
useful information from your code, and 
places it in a database you can access via 
CODAN's query and reporting system. 
Invaluable for reviewing structure and 
code practices. 

List: $395 Ours: $355 


Matrix language extension to C++. The 

M++ class library uses C++ operator 

overloading to define a complete set of 

matrix operators. Ideal for science, 

engineering, and statistical applications. 

Compatible w/ all C++ compilers, 

translators. Source included. 

List: $495 Ours: CALL 


The Novell C Network Compilergives 
you a direct link into NetWare, the 
leading network operating system with 
the world's largest installed base of 
network application users. Includes: the 
Novel l/WATCOM C network compiler, 
Express C, NetWare API Library, Btrieve 
Library, C Graphics Library, an Editor and 
the Network Applications Tutorial. 
List: $695 Ours: $529 


Lattice C 6.0 

Microsoft C 


Turbo C 

Turbo C Professional 


Guidelines C++ 

Zortech C++ 
w/ source 
Zortech C++ Tools 
Zortech C++ Video 


Logic Gem 
Matrix Layout 
w/ Workbench 


C Asynch Manager 

C Tools PLUS/5.0 

C Utility Library 

Essential Communications 

Greenleaf Comm. Library 

Grecnleaf Functions 

Greenleaf SuperFunctions 



Turbo C TOOLS/2.0 


C-Worthy w/ forms and source 
Greenleaf Data Windows 
Greenleaf MakeForm 
Panel Plus 
Vermont Views 
Vitamin C 


Micro Focus: 

COBOL /2w/ Toolset 

COBOL/2 Toolset 

Personal COBOL 
Realia COBOL 


386 DEBUG 
Periscope I/0K 
Periscope III 10 MHz 
Periscope IV/1 6 MHz 
Periscope IV/25 MHz 


Clear + (C) 

Source Print 
Tree Diagrammer 














































































































Concurrent DOS 386 (3 users) 








DESQview 386 (w/QEMM) 




MS Windows/386 

Norton Editor 







VM/386 Multi-user 

SLICK Editor 



VM/386 NetPak 




Wendin PCNX 2.5 






B-tree Filer 




MS Pascal 














Turbo Analyst 
Turbo Pascal 5.0 




Turbo Pascal 5.0 Professional 

db FILE 



Turbo-Plus 5.0 




Turbo Power Tools Plus 

Essential B-Tree 



Turbo Professional 5.0 

w/ source 
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MKS Make 




PVCS (Corporate) 









Lahey Personal FORTRAN 77 






Disk Technician Advanced 
Heap Expander 


Essential Graphics 












GSS Graphics Devel. Toolkit 



MKS Toolkit 
Norton Commander 

HALO '88 

Turbo Geometry Library 




Norton Utilities Advanced 




PCAools Deluxe 








Vfeature Deluxe 








395 355 

149 135 

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139 CALL 
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LINK & LOCATE ++ 395 349 

OPTLINK 125 115 

Plink86plus 495 289 

.RTLink 195 185 


LOGITECH Modula-2: 

Compiler Pack 99 79 

Development System 249 199 

Solid B+ Toolbox 150 135 

TopSpeed Modula-2: 

Compiler Kit 100 89 

DOS 3-Pack 200 175 


Btrieve/N 595 455 

NetWare C Interface for DOS 295 239 

NetWare SQL 595 455 

NetWare System Calls for DOS 1 95 159 

Xtrieve PLUS 595 455 


ACTOR 495 429 

Language Extension I 99 95 

C Data Manager 150 129 

C_talk 150 135 

Cjalk/Views 450 379 

Smalllalk/V 1 00 85 

Communications 50 45 

EGA/VGA Color Extension 50 45 

Goodies #1, #2 or #3 50 45 

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A Division of Voyager Software Corp 

55 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 1059T 

Circle 194 on Reader Service Card 



OCLI Shades 
PC Glare 

For luxury eye protection 
from your personal com- 
puter, you might want the 
Glare/Guard from the Optical 
Coating Laboratory. OCLI 
recently expanded its line of 
add-on filters. The new 
models are designed specifi- 
cally for the ubiquitous NEC 
MultiSync II, Sony's and Sun 
Microsystems' CAD/CAM 
monitors, and the Macintosh 
Plus, SE, Ilex, and II. 

Using thin-film coating 
technology, OCLI applies 
layers of germanium, zinc 
sulfide, and a fluoride com- 
pound to tempered glass 
using a patented vacuum depo- 
sition coating process. Ion- 
deposition processes make the 
coating abrasion-resistant. 

With such a filter, OCLI 
claims glare reduction of up to 
99 percent, enhanced con- 
trast, reduced static and dust, 
reduced perception of screen 
flicker, and low-frequency ra- 
diation level reduction of 98 

Filters for all the new ma- 
chines except the small Macin- 
tosh monitors come in two 
models: The Profile is de- 
signed to reduce glare by 95 
percent and the Prof ilePlus is 
designed to reduce 99 per- 
cent. For the Mac Plus, SE, 
and Ilex monitors, which 
have reversed type that re- 
quires more light emission, 
OCLI designed the Profession- 
al Plus Size M filters with 
glare reduced by only about 50 

Price: For CAD/CAM moni- 
tors, Profile, $199, and Pro- 
filePlus, $249; for the NEC 
and Mac II, Profile, $69.95, 
and ProfilePlus, $109.95; for 
the Mac, ProfessionalPlus, 

Contact: Optical Coating 
Laboratory, Inc., 2789 North- 
point Pkwy., Santa Rosa, CA 
95407, (707) 545-6440. 
Inquiry 1142. 

Patented thin-film coating reduces glare. 

Expand Automated 
Data Acquisition 
to 1 MHz 

The 64-channel Enhanced 
Graphics Acquisition and 
Analysis (EGAA) system 
functions as both a high-reso- 
lution digital storage oscillo- 
scope and an electronic chart 

The hardware uses four IS- 
16 A/D add-in boards, each 
with 16-channel 1 -MHz A/D 
conversion, creating a 64-chan- 
nel system. The software can 
operate the EGAA system as 
four separate digitizers at a 
1-MHz sampling rate or as one 

64-channel system at 62 kHz. 
The system contains a variety 
of trigger logic functions 
such as slope and level. Exter- 
nal triggers, like those on a 
digital storage oscilloscope, 
complement the pretrigger 
that's available to capture 

The chart recorder mode 
allows simultaneous real-time 
monitoring and storing of 
data to a hard disk. 
Price: $3090; analysis op- 
tions range from $485 to 

Contact: R.C. Electronics, 
Inc., 5386-D Hollister Ave., 
Santa Barbara, CA 93111, 
(805) 964-6708. 
Inquiry 1140. 

Small Supplies 
Switch to Sine 

The UniPower 4.5 and 
UniPower 6.0 are on-line 
systems that give you contin- 
uous power protection as well 
as power conditioning. Uni- 
son Technologies claims its 
true sine-wave output pro- 
vides superior equipment pro- 
tection over the square-wave 
output found in many supplies. 

As the names imply, the 
PS 4.5 provides 450 VA of 
backup power, and the 6.0 
gives you 600 VA. Both are rel- 
atively small, measuring 14 
by 3 by 18 inches, and are de- 
signed to fit between your 
system and your keyboard. 
They weigh 30 and 32 
pounds, respectively. 

Both units provide pat- 
ented emergency keyboard 
lights and a remote-on fea- 
ture that lets you turn on your 
system over the telephone. 
Price: UniPower 4.5, $699; 
6.0, $799. 

Contact: Unison Technol- 
ogies, Inc., 23456 Madero, 
Mission Viejo, CA 92691, 
(714) 855-8700. 
Inquiry 1143. 


To Draw As an Artist Draws 

Variable line width and 
airbrush density are 
just two of the features avail- 
able with the Wacom pres- 
sure-sensitive and cordless 
digitizing system. 

With the pen-like stylus, 
you press lightly and a slen- 
der line appears. Press more 
heavily and the line thickens 
as it would if you were draw- 
ing with a pencil or brush. 
Colors can be programmed 
so you can draw to fit your 
mood (i.e. , red for the firm- 
est pressure and blue for a 
light touch). 

You can also use a cordless 
cursor, but you won't get the 

variable-line effects of the 
stylus. For both hand-held 
devices, reading speeds are 
selectable, up to 205 points 
per second. Tablet accuracy 
is rated at 0.2 mm, whether 
you buy the 6- by 12-inch 
tablet or the 18- by 25-inch 

The system works through 
electromagnetic resonance 
technology, says Wacom. 
The digitizer tablet contains 
a fine grid of thin wires that 
alternately transmit and then 
receive their own signals, 
telling it where the pointing 
device has moved by reading 
from a coil-and-capacitor 

resonant circuit. 

The stylus can produce 
variable line widths, for ex- 
ample, because of a movable 
ferrite core. Pressure on the 
stylus's point changes the in- 
ductance of the resonance 
coil and affects the electrical 

Price: Stylus, $125; 6- by 9- 
inch tablet, including cur- 
sor, $395; 12- by 12-inch 
tablet, including cursor, 

Contact: Wacom, Inc., 
West 115 Century Rd., Pa- 
Inquiry 1141. 

56 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Announcing a big leap in mouse technology. 

« r\ 


Finally a mouse with an extraordinary 
body and a mind to match. 

The Logitech Mouse is tuned to accelerate 
your cursor across any screen with the 
mere flick of a wrist And slow it down on 
arrival for pixel- point control. 

It's guaranteed to work with all IBM 

personal computer applications. 

A nd it comes with a great selection of 
MouseWare m including Pop-Up DOS m - 
the ultimate DOS handler; the Mouse-2-3 
shell; 35 menus for popular keyboard- 
based applications; and unlimited 
Product Support. 

For your nearest dealer 
call Logitech at: 

In California: 

In Europe: 

+ +41-21-869-96-56 

Circle 150 on Reader Service Card 
(DEALERS: 151) 




T I V I T Y 

Pocket-size Adapter 

Links Laptops 

to NetWare Stations 

Th e Pocket Ethernet 
Adapter is an Ethernet 
add-in card shrunk down to 
fit into a package the size of 
today's pocket modems. 

Two versions are available, 
accommodating thick and thin 
coaxial cabling. Support for 
unshielded twisted-pair ca- 
bling should be available 
sometime this fall. Only 
Novell NetWare drivers for 
versions 2.0 and 2. 1 are com- 
patible today. But Xircom 
promises that future releases 
will include the latest Novell 
drivers and drivers for the 
other popular network oper- 
ating systems. Drivers for 
3Com 's 3+ and 3 + Open are 
scheduled to ship before the 
year's end. 

For computers that don't 
have a bidirectional parallel 
port, the software uses the 
status lines of the port for 

Price: $695. 
Contact: Xircom, 22231 
Mulholland Hwy., Suite 114, 
Woodland Hills, CA 91364, 
Inquiry 1146. 

Pocket Ethernet Adapter runs Novell NetWare drivers. 

Low-Cost Parallel 
Port Network 

If you want inexpensive file 
transfer for your small of- 
fice but all your serial ports 
are packed full of peripherals, 
you might try installing the 
3X-Linkl6 network through 
your parallel ports. 

But don't worry about 
tying up the parallel ports. You 
can plug your printer into the 
parallel port on the back of 
each 3X-Linkl6 transceiver. 

Features include back- 
ground file transfer and E- 
mail, the company says. All 

you need is a pair of 3X- 
Linkl6 transceivers and 
some twisted-pair cabling, 
which is included in the basic 
package. You upgrade the net- 
work with additional 

The network, which con- 
nects up to 16 PCs, has a maxi- 
mum distance of only 400 
feet. Data rate is 500,000 bps. 

Security features include 
multilevel passwords. 
Price: Basic package, $239; 
additional adapters, $139; 
printing software, $149. 
Contact: 3X USA, One Ex- 
ecutive Dr. , Fort Lee, NJ 
Inquiry 1145. 

Network Your Maplnfo 

Maplnfo 4.0 is a net- 
working upgrade to 
the popular single-user MS- 
DOS mapping software. The 
latest version, which re- 
quires an AT and DOS 2.0 or 
higher, lets you distribute 
mapping work through 
Novell NetWare. (Upgrades 
are planned for other net- 
work operating systems.) 

You can either buy maps 
from Mapping Information 
Services or make your own 
to work with the software. 

Included in the base price 
of version 4.0, for example, 
is a database of the five-digit 

ZIP codes and a map of the 
U.S. that can be viewed as a 
whole or in regions. You 
enter the ZIP code you need 
to identify and Maplnfo 
points to the region on your 
view of the U.S. map. 

In a networked configura- 
tion, everybody with a node 
version of Maplnfo 4.0 can 
simultaneously access the 
same maps and the same 
databases. Anybody on the 
network can access maps or 
data from local drives and 
the main file server. File 
locking and edit transaction 
files protect the data; only 

one user at a time can make 
edits on a particular portion 
of the map. 

But you can create several 
separate mapping layers and 
divide mapping work among 
several people. 
Price: Server version, $750; 
node version, $595, or 
$1195 for three nodes; op- 
tional maps from $75 to 

Contact: Mapping Informa- 
tion Systems Corp., 200 
Broadway, Troy, NY 1 2 1 80, 
(800) 327-8627; in New 
York, (518)274-8673. 
Inquiry 1150. 

at 200 Megabits 
Per Second 

SCSI-based computer net- 
work its developer claims can 
flash data from port to port at 
rates up to 200 megabits per 

This advantage is due to its 
SCSI connections, Bay tec says, 
which transfer data in 64K- 
byte packets. At the cabling 
level, Bay tec uses AMD's 
125 taxi chip set, which sup- 
ports coaxial, twisted-pair, 
and optical-fiber cabling. 

The idea behind the Baytec 
2000 network is simple. In- 
stead of a complex array of 
network hardware and soft- 
ware, each computer or 
workstation on a Baytec net- 
work is outfitted with a SCSI 
port, complete with device 
driver. The nodes are daisy- 
chained, seven at a time, and 
plugged into a cable inter- 
face; up to eight interfaces can 
connect to each server, for a 
total of 56 users per server; 
and multiple servers can be 
linked together. 

Installation is a matter of 
installing the appropriate SCSI 
interface, attaching a node 
controller, and adding the 
driver to the computer's op- 
erating system (an MS-DOS 
.SYS file, a Mac resource in 
the System file, or a worksta- 
tion's Unix driver). 

Within each base server is 
a 65816— the same processor 
that's in the Apple IIGS, and 
the 16-bit successor to the ven- 
erable 6502 that has powered 
Apple lis for more than a 

Price: Base server unit, 
$17,000; each node interface, 

Contact: Baytec Inc., 32425 
Schoolcraft Rd., Livonia, MI 
48150; (313) 427-1250. 
Inquiry 1151. 


58 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Everything OS/2 can do for you. . . 

OS/2™ includes a built 
graphical interface 
so it's easy to use. 

OS/2 lets you run your 

DOS programs plus hundreds 

of programs DOS can't. 

OS/2 provides an optional 
Communications Manager 
which allows easy networking. 

OS/2 lets you run programs larger 
than 640K, so you can use 
more powerful applications. 

OS/2 lets you keep two or more 
programs running at the same time, 
so you can do more. 

OS/2 lets you take advantage 
of 386™ power. 

OS/2 lets you take full advantage 
of Micro Channel.™ 

OS/2 provides an optional 
Database Manager to make 
managing information easy. 

This offer lets you do for less. 

Right now, when you choose OS/2, you can get from $100 
to $1,600 back on the kind of heavy duty memory that only 
OS/2 can handle. With this offer, the more memory you buy (up 
to 8Mb) , the bigger your rebate. 

Plus you can get thousands of dollars in rebates on over 100 
different OS/2 programs. You can also get hundreds of dollars back 
on modems, accessory cards and hardware — all the things that 
help you do more work in less time with OS/2. 

So if you're ready to move up to all the real advantages of 
OS/2, ask your IBM Authorized Dealer about these rebates today. 
To find the dealer nearest you call 1 800 IBM-2468, ext 128. 

OS/2. Operating System/2 and Micio Channel are trademarks, and IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. 386 is a trademark of Intel. ©IBM Corp. 191 

AUGUST 1989 •BYTE 59 


& • i-' 

* . 



Clean Elegant Powerfu 


* *<», 

The Object-Oriented Language 
for Today and Tomorrow 

So you're looking for reliability, reusability, and 
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Eiffel is the industrial application of modern software 
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single and multiple inheritance, dynamic binding, static 
typing, genericity and more within a simple, easy-to-learn 

Eiffel is the only environment which includes reliable 
software construction techniques; assertions, invariants, 
rigorous exception handling. Well defined interfaces for 
your existing software. Robust libraries of reusable 
components including X-based graphics. A powerful 
CASE environment ensuring automatic recompilation, 
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system structures. Portability on all UNIX systems among 
others. Cross-development via the generation of self- 
contained C packages. Easy interface with packages and 

software written in other languages. And incredible 

Don't worry, you won't be alone. The list of major 
companies using Eiffel is impressive: Boeing, Philips 
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Cognos, Lawrence Livermore, Tektronix, Sandia, Telecom 
Australia, BNR, EDF, and on and on. 

Eiffel can solve your problems both today and 
tomorrow. Need more information? Just give us a call. So 
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Object-Oriented Software Construction, Bertrand Meyer, called a 
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Circle 326 on Reader Service Card 



T I V I T Y 

New SQL Machine 
for LANs 

The SQL Mach 1 is a ded- 
icated database system 
that uses a Structured Query 
Language-based engine and 
achieves 15 to 60 times the 
performance of its PC-based 
brethren, its manufacturer 

One of the major keys to 
advanced performance is its 
client-server approach to 
database operation. The client 
sends a request for informa- 
tion; the Mach 1 performs the 
database operation by access- 
ing its own disk drives and re- 
turns only the answer (unlike 
solutions that return the entire 
database of information, 
tying up the network). 

Other key advantages in- 
clude a proprietary API (appli- 
cation program interface), so 
it doesn't get bogged-down on 
PC operating system code, 
and a patent-pending relational 
coprocessor. It's based on an 
80286 backplane and is com- 
parable in price to fully con- 
figured 80386-based PC 

The caching controller, 
described as a discrete design 
with high-speed memory 
management, effectively 
speeds up some operations 
that once took 400 to 500 fis 
and performs them in 10 /is, 
the company claims. 

The Mach 1 includes 4 
megabytes of RAM, a 17-ms, 
320-megabyte hard disk 
drive, 150 megabytes of tape 
backup, and a 1200-bps 
modem for remote support. 

There are actually four I/O 
slots for four direct-channel 
cards to directly support up 
to 16 users at distances up to 
200 feet. Or you can use one 
of the I/O slots for an Ethernet 
card to network the entire of- 
fice with database capabilities 
slightly less sophisticated 
than if the users were con- 
nected directly to the I/O. 
There are also six SCSI ports. 

Client-server approach speeds SQL database. 

Price: $23,950. 
Contact: Advanced Data 
Servers, P.O. Box 4937, 
Boise, ID 83711, (208) 
Inquiry 1144. 

Across Topologies 

The low-cost PowerBridge 
software lets you bridge 
from any NetBIOS-compat- 
ible LAN that uses Server 
Message Block protocols to 
any other, the manufacturer 

One server module runs on 
the dedicated or nondedicated 
bridge server, generally at 
least a 286-based system with 
640K bytes of RAM. An- 
other module is used by any 
bridge participant, a simi- 
larly configured machine. 

You can share disks, 
printers, and gateway services 
with any network that's con- 
nected, Performance Technol- 
ogy says. Connections can 
pass through up to four bridge 
servers to join a total of five 
networks, whether they be 
Token Ring, Ethernet 
(server-based or distributed), 
or ARCnet. 

Phone the Office for E-Mail 

VoxMail is a hardware 
and software system 
that links you and your 
Touch-Tone telephone to the 
E-mail system back at the 

Receiving messages is the 
easy part. You log on with a 
Touch- Tone access code. 
VoxMail then converts your 
text-based E-mail messages 
into speech. To reply, you 
press keys that generate pre- 
assigned generic responses 
like "No. Wait until we 
talk." The reply is then auto- 
matically mailed with a copy 
of the original message. 

There are limitations. It 
supports only nine reply 
messages, and it works only 
with Message Handling Ser- 

vice-compatible E-mail sys- 
tems, a de facto Novell stan- 
dard, VoxLink says. You 
also need a dedicated XT and 
two free slots for the phone 
interface board and the text- 
to-speech board. The phone 
interface board handles text 
to ASCII via phonetic 

Each complete system 
supports five MHS applica- 
tions, nine reply messages, 
an adjustable security code, 
attachment files, and admin- 
istrative log reports. 
Price: $3995. 

Contact: VoxLink Corp., 
432 Coventry Dr., Nash- 
ville, TN 37211, (615) 
Inquiry 1148. 

Price: $495. 

Contact: Performance Tech- 
nology, 800 Lincoln Center, 
San Antonio, TX 78230, 
Inquiry 1149. 

Novell Introduces 
NetWare 386 

NetWare 386 version 3 . 
is Novell's first network 
operating system that's opti- 
mized for use on the 32-bit 
80386 architecture. 

Unlike NetWare 286, 
which could support only 100 
users, NetWare 386 can sup- 
port up to 250 users on one 
server. In addition, Novell 
says NetWare 386 features a 
simplified and less time-con- 
suming installation procedure, 
enhanced printer resources 
and file security features, and 
a technique called dynamic 
resource configuration, which 
automatically manages mem- 
ory allocation for caches and 
buffers, a task formerly man- 
aged manually. 

With this introduction, 
NetWare runs on virtually all 
major operating systems and 
hardware architectures, in- 
cluding MS-DOS and OS/2, 
Macintosh, and Unix systems 
such as Sun and NeXT. 

Novell says NetWare 386 
will support the major client/ 
server file protocols, includ- 
ing AppleTalk Filing Protocol 
(AFP), the Unix-based Net- 
work File System (NFS) from 
Sun Microsystems, and 
IBM's Server Message Block 
(SMB) and OS/2 file proto- 
cols, as well as Novell's own 
NetWare Core Protocols, 
which support MS-DOS and a 
variety of other file types. 
Price: $7995. 
Contact: Novell, Inc., 122 
East 1700 South St., Provo, 
UT 84606, (800) 453-1267. 
Inquiry 1147. 


62 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

dBASE IV The experts 
carit say enough about it. 

SQL not Dbase forte, test finds 

AshtonTate promises to correct query flaws after competitor criticism 

TORRANCE, Calif - Ait along 
critics allied that Ashton-Tate 
Corp. would not be able to pro- 
duce an effective implementa- 
tion dSQLinitsDbasel Vprod- 
uct, charges the company 
vehemently denied. Now that 
Dbase IV is out. it seems the jpit- 
ics wheie right afier all, at least 
regarding AshtonTate's first 
crack at SQL. 

According to Fred Lut presi- 
dent of Quadbase Systems, inc, 
«bo has tested Dbase TV, users 
may get incorrect results from 
even simple SQL queries. Luk 
toted Dbase IV against his own 
product Dquery. which provides 
Dbase JURuswithSQL capabili- 
ties. AshtonTate has not denied 
his findin s and pledges to cor- 
rect Dbase IV Haws. 

With some queries. Dbase IV 
found an uxnrrect result. With 
others, it failed to run because of 
internal errors. At other times, 
Dbase IV's SQL gave iocartsb- 
tent results depending on the 
method of querying. 

Fortunately, an AshtonTate 
spokesperson said, some fixes 
should already be available 
through the CompuServe on-line 
service. Asbtoc-Tate officials 
also said the SQL problems are 
very data dependent, only crop- 
ping up when the product is used 
in unusual and specific ways. 
The biggest prahtem far Ashton- 
Tate was i»s lack of SQL experi- 
ence. Unlike many SQL de- 
velopers with years of ex- 
perience, Ashton-Tate had to 

build its complex SQL system 
nearly from scratch. 

Another problem for SQL 
programmers is the lack of sup- 
port for nulls - a way of dealing 
with missing data - said Fabian 
Pascal, an independent relational 
database consultant based in 
Washington, DC 

Others have criticized the 
performance of the SQL. The 
central problem with the perfor- 
mance is that SQL was deigned 
with so-called set processing in 

Data View 

mind, where data is manipulated 
in entire tables. Dbase IV, how- 
ever, maintains its rccord-at-a- 
time database engine Translat- 
ing between the two is both 
difficult and slow. 

SQL bugs accompany prob- 
lems in other areas of the prod- 
uct indudingmimrrous incom- 
patibilities with Dbase HI Phis 
and problems «ith the Run com- 
mand [CW. Nov. 12, 1988]. 

AshtonTate To Address dBASE Quirks 


PC packages bigger 
in big business 

Users are running mort trticr, 
wftmr? tttirs than ever. 

Calculatedfiekls(»hcredaiB val- 
ues are computed as entered) do 
not work properly either, said 
noted Dbase teacher Adam 
Green. Calculated fields work- 
only with Browse and do not 
wak with Edit of Append. Nor 
docs the documentation match 
the product. Green argued. For 
example, the manual provides 
messages that the Range com- 
mand is supposed to give. The 
range command, however, fails 
to provide these messages, 

There is aho little backward 
compatibility far Dbase IV users 
that take advantage of the new 
mono fields feature. Any Dbase 
IV database that uses memo 
fields can not be read by Dbase 
III, Dbase III Phis or any Dbase 

Although AshtonTate never 
promised full backward compati- 
bility, the new memo fields will 
present a major problem for 
firms with a mix of Dbase HI and 
Dbase IV users. 

"People are going to have to 
share data." Green said. "There 
is not going to be an instant up- 

Ashton-Thte Is planning to air 
on major electronic bulletin 
boanls the first batch of user-ie- 
ported quirks in dBASE IV and 
suggested solutions to the prob- 
lems, according to company of- 

The first peculiarities to lie ad- 
dressed include a compatibility 
problem using dilASE IV's new 
memo-field feature on dBASH III 
Plus applications; a glitch that 
freezes the screen if the Ctrl- 
ftreak key sequence i» activated; 
and other assorted bottlenecks 
involving network support, and 
installation, according to Dave 
Micck, dBASE IV product manag* 
er for the Torrance, Calif., com- 

The anomalies will be made 
public in the next few weeks on 
CompuServe, The Source and 
AshtonTate's own bulletin 
boanl as they are reported by us- 
ers, Micck said. 

'As is our long-standing prac- 
tice, we are readying the first set 
of comments on dBASE IV to 
post on public bulletin boards," 
said l^tlia Oobyns, vice president 
of marketing at Ashton-Tate. 
"However, very few areas are 
covered. We have Itcard nothing 

to believe that dBASE IV is any- 
thing less than stable." 

Nevertheless, a month after its 
telease, user reports of peculiari- 
ties in dBASE IV and features 
that don't quite work as prom- 
ised have begun to filter in. 

AshtonTate has acknowl- 
edged the existence of a memo- 
field problem, which occurs 
when dBASE IV users open or 
edit a memo field in a dBASE III 

Ity with dBASE HI Plus," Micck 

To work around the problem, 
he suggested, users should make 
a copy of the database using the 
DBMEMt 3 option under the 
"Copy 2" command, adding that 
this solution has already been 
documented in dBASE IVs tech- 
nical manual. 

Ashton-Tate also confirmed 
the existence of a quirk that 

A monUi after the release of dBASE TV, user 

reports of peculiarities and features that don't 

work as promised tiave begun to filter in. 

Plus application that has been 
moved into dBASE IV. Once 
dBASE IV is used on the memo 
field, that field and its entire 
record can no longer be accessed 
from any program, including 
workallkes and dBASE add-ons, 
except dBASE IV 

The lockout is sparking user 
complaints that possible Incom- 
patibilities exist between the two 

"The way that dBASE IV han- 
dles enhanced memo fields, it's 
not possilric to have compatibil- 

Computerworld, January 9, 1989 

freezes the screen when Ctrl- 
Break is activated; users must 
reboot their machines, Micek 
said, and no data Is destroyed in 
the process. The firm is evaluat- 
ing the problem, he said. 

Users have also reported two,: 
other potential problems: irregu- 
larities in generating calculated 
fields and a flaw in the mailing- 
list function that prints a blank 
line in an address label when one 
field of information— for exam- 
ple, a company's name — is 

PC Week, Decembers, I 

PS/2 Model 50Z proves too 
hot for Dbase IV to handle 


MAY 8. 1389 j 

TOERANCE. Calif. — U you 
wva IBM's as&ag Personal 
SystefflfZ Model SOZ and Ash- 
too- TateC<»rp.'s hottest venaoo 
of Dbase, both are av arable fori 
twice. Just don't try t o r un them 

The tottst PS/2 Model 50Z a 
a speedier Version of t be ma- 
chine (hat many users bad la- 
beled * do* It a apparent)/ the 
■peed of the eero-wait stats op- 
erations that wreaks havoc with 
Dbase IV, AsfetoarTate said. 
"We hive beard of other prob- 
lems re^nfog the SOZ." said 

and JC-DOS 4.0. in each case, 
his hard disk uxamhto), resuK- 
mg in discauteaed sectors and 
the possible Voca of da a. 

So what is DesUm w do? Sim- 
pk."l»ngetiing Dbase IV the 
teefl off my machines. I have 
some very expensive dataldoa't 
like having mucked around 
With," Denton said. Kealsoaaid 
that be plan* to reformat the 
hard daks and go back to Obase 

adttnt currently automating a 
coanwtks firm, had the problem 
on four separate PS/2 Model 
SOZs running both PC- DOS 3.3 

Dbase I V w aa tested prior to t he 
availablljty of the Model SOZ. 
Dbate IV did act ah) p until Octo- 
ber last year, taste five months 
after the araitabiEty pf the 50Z 

iaen from Aahton-Tatc. "We 
don't look at it a« being » Ash- 
ton-Tate problem," Richardson 
said, adding that the pnxfurt i 
not certified tortmontheSOZ. 

Users Should Expect a Rocky Marriage of Dbase and SQL 

Bt Scot r (Wart 

The perfect marriage of IXascand 
SQL may ncvcrexisl, despite what 
As SQL database servers begin 
shipping ihts month, the issue of perlof- 
mance hangs over all vendors pf Dbase 
compatibles. Any system ihat mun 
translate iccoid-oricnicrt Dbase proce- 
duic* into set-oriented SQL involves 
mof e of a performance burden than a 
systcmlbat una native SQLin iufront- 

Ct\d tools. 

Uscis expecting, existing sinsfc-u.ser 
Dbuse. applications to snap as fast us 
they do now m;iy also be m for a shoet. 

lfthcseiswesaiesolv«LI'Cand LAN 
administrators stii I face a scries of lough 
choices if lite y try lojnajntain existing 
Obase ;ipplic!:ii»ns without adding SQL 

Extensive technology has been built into 
SQL Server to enable existing Dbase 

applications to run unchanged against 
SQL Server data. 

This Ashtnn-1att/M>aasun/Sybaae 
technology appears to be superior to 
technology employed by server vendors 
Gupta, Novell, and Oracle, due to the 
presence inSQLScrveroftrig&ers- 
spcciiilSQL statements used tomaintiin 
referential integrity. Thiough trigger s, 
Obase IV will be cajviNc nf sliaiing data 
with n»n- Dbase applications, even 
though every I) application adds 
three Gelds t o each SQl.tableit accesses. 
These tables give- each SQL record 
accessed by Dba.«e IV a number, note 
whether the record has heen marked for 
deletion by Obase, and give the record :i 
time/dale stamp when it is changed 

Allied against SQL Server are PCbascd 
database servers known as the '•»l!12 
to patihles." Ail claim to be compatible 
with the application programming inter - 
laceol IftMsuwinffame J>B2datfibsse. 

A few vertofv noting that IHM sOSrt 

lixtended Kdilion Database Manaper is 
not identical to DIS2. pmmtse compati- 
bility with Extended liditlononly. 

The catch &, these da Ubaae servers 
do not con tain trigger* ao many Dbase 
applications cannot b ported to these 
scrversaml be expected to intemperate 
with non-Obasc front ends without ex- 
tensive mtxlifscatjon. Ifnpf?! tail k«i devel- 
oper embed SQL in all Dbase applica- 
tions, the point cou id become moot 

CtftSHWe fWlnsoPKES, If perferrrwnce 

is the overridir^issue, the choice of dsita- 
base server wiil depend on wheilie/ 
applicnions portability is important. 

For value-added resellers eapected to 
drive cariy adoptifln of database servers, 
ibetjuestion becomes w^ictherthey want 
t«id»velOp separate. Don so .versions of 
thci r applications, as well as another ap- 
plication tailored to D82, written in Para- 
dox, SQL Windows, littcn cd Edition, 
•rot her Dr»2-contpatible front endv 

For corporate Dhase dodopen, tras 
eaue may be at wnai noira do they dobde 
catioRS portability acrosa DB2 compati- 
bte servers and improc pEfftrmsTcz. 

Analysii agree that the more Dtasc 
applications stick with read-only access 
to database server data, for stvaa lied 
"decision support" appiicai tons such as 
querying and reporting, the bcticr those 
applications will w>rt with SQL data- 
base servers. The more read/write 
activity, the more mission-critical the 
task, and Iho more likely those l>base, 
applications must be rewritten. Even 
Ashton- late ackfwwltxjges that Obase 
programmers must be educated in the 
waVs of SQL database servos. 

Another factrjtof still unknown sig- 
oifjcaiice, is whether Dbase IV, Version 
l.I will beat non-DpaseSQLServerf ronl 
ends to market. Ashton-Tate still claims 
it will deliver Dbase IV 1.1 next month. 

AnotnerchaUengtf to SQL Server is 

to provide a gateway oc SQL sialernertl 
pass-dtwogh to OT2 Is» now. DB3con> 
palibics tueh as IBMs own Batended 
Edition ulfer far stronger options for 
mainframe connectivity, p*rt/cu tarty for 
(Tu^saDTxrtlkJ appiicai ions. 

In the VAX world, both Sybase and 
Interbasea e in much bettershnne, 
offering compatible database servers 
today that run under VMS and Unix 
The crowded Unix tetabasc market Tias 
notallowed a standardlo emerge the 
way D82 has on fee mainfranK. 

WWKETWlUTSroSK. /(SQb-iSflrver 

ships, tb market now enters a critical 
time, where afcnocd all agree that only a 
few oTtstdays announced database ser 
vers will emerge as standards. The stakes 
ateeaiuiilly high forthc Dbase si andard, 
now nearly 10 years old. which must 
prove itseirfastenough andpowerful 
enough to remain the primary PG'data- 

base language, or y* 

Computerworld, April 24, 1989 

Oracle developed the first commercial SQL database over 10 years ago. 

And the first SQL database for the PC over 4 years ago. 

Its called Professional ORACLE! 

It has the most up-to-date, most powerful and most complete set of 

application development tools available. 

MoWorld, May 8, 1989 

Like SQL*Forms w SQL*ReportWriter. ,M SQL*Menu w And SQLTIus! 

It's based on ANSI standard SQL, and runs on PCs, minis and mainframes. 

And it works. 

To order Professional ORACLE for the PC, call 1-800-ORACLE1, ext. 4960. 

It's $1,299, and comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. 


Compatibility, Portability, Connectability. 

Universally acknowledged to work just fine. 

CopyrigbA ©1989 Oracle Corporation. dBase, dBase IV, and Ashton-Tate are registered trademarks of Ashton-Tbte Corp. ORACLE, SQL*Forms, SQL*Menti, and SQL'Plus are registered Irademarks and SQl/ReportWriter is a trademark of Oracle Corporation. 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 63 




A Programming 
Tool for OS/2 

If you're struggling with 
the intricacies of program- 
ming for OS/2, Hamilton 
Laboratories has a product that 
brings a familiar program- 
ming environment to IBM's 
latest PC operating system. 
As its name implies, Hamilton 
C Shell recreates the stan- 
dard C shell language as de- 
scribed in the Berkeley 4.3 
Unix Programmer's Manual. 
The company claims that all 
42,000 lines of code in the 
product were written specifi- 
cally for OS/2. 

Hamilton Labs says its 
shell is a superior alternative 
to the standard OS/2 com- 
mand processor, letting you 
program for the OS/2 envi- 
ronment more quickly and eas- 
ily by manipulating files, 
processes, threads, and object 

The Hamilton C Shell in- 
cludes fully nestable program- 
ming constructs for iteration 
and condition testing, variable 
arrays, and a wide range of 
expression operators and built- 
in functions. There are also 
advanced features for I/O redi- 
rection, piping, background 
execution, and parallel 

Rounding out the pro- 
gram's features are alias and 
shell procedures for defining 
your own language extensions, 
as well as command substitu- 
tions and advanced wild- 

The Hamilton C Shell runs 
on any OS/2-equipped system 
with at least 2 megabytes of 
Price: $350. 

Contact: Hamilton Labora- 
tories, 13 Old Farm Rd., 
Wayland, MA 01778, (508) 
Inquiry 1105. 

I allocate. h 
assert. h 

^f * 1 ll 

fereach ] (.csh .rxe .co« .cud) 
if J-e fi$na»c$jj echo *i$nane$j 

j l.csh .exe .con ,c«d] 
-e >i\$n«e*j) echo $i\irva«e$j 

An example of a procedure within Hamilton C Shell with 
directory windows in the background. 

for the Amiga 

M2Sprint l.l,aModula- 
2 development system for 
the Commodore Amiga, in- 
cludes a compiler that can han- 
dle 45,000 lines per minute, 
the company reports. The 
compiler runs from the edi- 
tor, the command line, Work- 
bench, or ARexx, and the 
editor supports multiple win- 
dows, letting you compile in 
one window while you edit in 
the others. 

The program also includes 
a single-pass Modula-2 com- 
piler and program linker, 
program profiler, symbolic de- 
bugger, an Amiga ROM in- 
terface library, Modula-2 li- 
brary, an Amiga interface 
library, a C-style I/O library, 
and IFF and AmigaDOS Re- 
placement Project libraries. 

Features of the compiler 
include internal files configur- 
able for efficient RAM man- 
agement, REAL and LONG- 
REAL support via the 
Amiga's library code (allows 
you to use hardware floating- 
point processors), and termi- 

nation procedures for each 
module. You can also use it to 
generate in-line calls to the 
Amiga's operating system, 
eliminating the need for 
"stub" routine libraries, and to 
generate debug information 
for symbolic debuggers. 

M2Sprint's editor has an 
automatic case-correction fea- 
ture, which converts Modula- 
2 keywords to their correct 
case (e.g., procedure be- 
comes PROCEDURE), and 
word completion, which 
automatically completes long 
names that you specify from 
a dictionary when you type 
enough characters (e.g., 
imple becomes IMPLEMEN- 
TATION). You can also de- 
velop and test programs with- 
out leaving the editor. The 
debugger shows the code at the 
point of error, as well as 
variable contents. 

M2Sprint works on all 
Amigas with at least 5 12K 
bytes of RAM, KickStart 
1.2, and Workbench 1.3 or 
Price: $385. 

Contact: M2S, Inc., P.O. 
Box 550279, Dallas, TX 
Inquiry 1102. 


An OS/2 Pascal Compiler with DOS Compatibility 

If you're a developer who 
wants to use Pascal to de- 
velop OS/2 applications but 
still wants to keep DOS users 
unalienated, Prospero's 
Pascal for OS/2 will allow 
you to keep your feet firmly 
planted in both worlds. Pas- 
cal for OS/2 is a one-pass 
compiler that's optimized 
for OS/2-specif ic applica- 
tions. But it also includes a 
DOS linker and library that 
produces DOS programs (as 
long as your code doesn't use 
OS/2-specif ic features). 

The package includes a 
threading function for OS/2, 
letting you run Pascal proce- 
dures in parallel with the 

main program. You can also 
call OS/2 functions from 
Pascal by simply declaring 
them external. In addition, 
Prospero has added a new 
predeclared data type called 
ASCIIZ that allows the dec- 
laration of null-terminated 
dynamic-length strings in 
OS/2. You can also produce 
code to take advantage of the 
extra instructions available 
on the 80286 processor. 

Total code is limited only 
by the size of your hard disk. 
And although you can gener- 
ate a maximum of 64K bytes 
in a single compilation, any 
number can be linked into a 
program. There is a limit of 

64K bytes on the outer-level 
static and common data, and 
the heap can expand to 4 

Pascal for OS/2 includes a 
workbench/editor that lets 
you choose compilation and 
linking operations from a 
menu. Also included is the 
Probe source-level debugger 
with data breakpoint and 
multithreading capabilities. 
The whole package runs on 
any OS/2-equipped system. 
Price: $390. 

Contact: Prospero Soft- 
ware, Inc., 100 Commercial 
St., Portland, ME 04101, 
Inquiry 1101. 

64 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

QNX ■. Bend it, shape it, any way you want it. 

ARCHITECTURE If the micro world were 
not so varied, QNX would not be so suc- 
cessful. After all, it is the operating system 
which enhances or limits the potential 
capabilities of applications. QNX owes its 
success (over 75,000 systems sold since 
1982) to the tremendous power and flexibility 
provided by its modular architecture. 

Based on message-passing, QNX is radi- 
cally more innovative than UNIX or OS/2. 
Written by a small team of dedicated 
designers, it provides a fully integrated 
multi-user, multi-tasking, networked oper- 
ating system in a lean 148K. By comparison, 
both OS/2 and UNIX, written by many hands, 
are huge and cumbersome. Both are ex- 
amples of a monolithic operating system 
design fashionable over 20 years ago. 

MULTI-USER OS/2 is multi-tasking but 
NOT multi-user. For OS/2, this inherent 
deficiency is a serious handicap for ter- 

minal and remote access. ©NX is both 
multi-tasking AND multi-user, allow;irfg up 
to 32 terminals and modems to connect to 
any computer. 

UNIX nor OS/2 can providejntegrated 

networking. With truly distributed pro- 
cessing and resource sharing, QNX makes 
all resources (proeessors, disKs, printers 
and modems anywhere on the network) 
available to any user. Systems way: be 
single computers, or, by simply adding 
micros withDutchan'ges to user software, 
they cam grow to large transparent Multi- 
processor environments. QNX is the main- 
frame^ou builci micro by mhsro. 

PC's, AT's and PS/2's OS/2 and UNIX 
severely restrict hardware that can be used: 
you must replace all your PC's with AT's. In 
contrast, QNX runs superbly on PC's and 
literally soars on AT's and PS/2's. You can 

run your unmodified QNX applications on 
any mix of machines, either standalone or 
in a QNX local area network, in real mode 
on PC's or in protected mode on AT's. 
Only QNX lets you run multi-user/multi- 
tasking with networking on all classes of 

REALTIME QNX real-time performance 
leaves both OS/2 and UNIX wallowing at 
the gate. In fact, QNX is in use at thousands 
of real-time sites, right now. 
DOS SUPPORT QNX allows you to run 
one PC-DOS application at each 
computer on a QNX network. With OS/2, 
128K of the DOS memory is consumed 
to enable this facility. Within QNX pro- 
tected mode, a full 640K can be used for 

power and flexibility you need. Call for 
details and a demo disk. 




Multi-User 10 (32) serial terminals per PC (AT). 
Multi-Tasking 64 (150) tasks per PC (AT). 
Networking 2.5 Megabit token passing. 

255 PC's and/or AT's per network. 

10,000 tasks per network. 

Thousands of users per network. 

Real Time 4,250 task switches/sec (AT). 

Message Fast intertask communication 
Passing betweentaskson any machine. 

C Compiler Standard Kernighan and Ritchie. 

Flexibility Single PC, networked PC's, 
single PC with terminals, 
networked PC's with terminals. 
Nocentralservers. Full sharing 
of disks, devices and CPU's. 

PC-DOS PC-DOS runs as a QNX task. 

Cost From US $450. 

Runtime pricing available. 

For further information or a free demonstration 
diskette, please telephone (613) 591-0931. 

Quantum Software Systems Ltd. • Kanata South Business Park -175 Terrence Matthews Crescent • Kanata, Ontario, Canada • K2M 1 W8 

Circle 205 on Reader Service Card 

ONX is a registered trademark of Quantum Software Systems lid. 

The UNIX Operating System is a registered trademark ot AT&T: IBM. PC. AT. XT and PS/2, PC-OOSaad OS/2 are trademarks of International Business Machines. HP and Vectra are registered trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company. 


DESQview 2.2 and DESQview 386. The 
multitasking, windowing environments 
that work with your favorite software. 

DESQview™ is the operating environment 
that brings OS/2" 4 power to DOS. And it 
lets you, with your trusty 8088, 8086, 
80286, or 80386 PC, leap into the next 
generation in PC productivity. For not 
much money. And without throwing 
away your favorite software. 

Introducing DESQview 2.2 

And now, DESQview 2.2 adds capabilities, 
performance, and compatibility 
enhancements you've been asking for: 

Like being able to fine tune DESQview 
performance "on the fly." Run Lotus Express 
and Metro. And the Intel Connection Co 
Processor. Even use the DOS 4.0 shell with 
DESQview. Have DESQview automatically install 
Quattro, Sprint, Aldus PageMaker, Microsoft 
Excel, Word Perfect, Dataease and as many as 80 
other programs. And using the DESQview API, 
be able to dynamically link them. 

More bang; less bytes 

While other programs get bigger, we've worked 
to make DESQview smaller. And we've 
succeeded in a big way on PCs and PS/2™s with 
extended, EMS 3.2 (AboveBoard), EEMS and 
EMS 4.0 memory— as well as on 386 PCs and 

INFO 1986 


O F T H E 



Solutions Award 


Best Operating 

DESQview lets you run your favorite programs in windows side-by-side. 

PS/2s.For example, DESQview overhead on 
EMS 4.0 and 386 PCs can be as low as 10K on 
EGA/VGA PCs. And DESQview actually 
increases memory 30K on CG A PCs; 20K on 
monochrome and Hercules PCs. That's good 
news for users of big desktop publishing, CAD 
and database programs. 

Introducing DESQview 386 

For users of 80386 PCs and PS/2s (or PCs with 
80386 add-in boards, such as the Intel Inboard 
386), there's DESQview 386 (a combination of 
DESQview 2.2 and the new QEMM-386 

Quarterdeck Expanded Memory 

Manager, version 4.2). 

DESQview 386 gives you 
extraordinary power. Run text, 
CGA, EGA, VGA, and Hercules 
programs in windows and in the 

i 9 8 8^ 



8 Y T El 

A W A ft D Of 1 

Distinction 1 

background. Run 32-bit 386 programs, like 
Paradox 386, and IBM Interleaf simultane- 
ously with your favorite DOS programs. 
All with the speed and performance you 
expect out of your 386. And with protec- 
tion against 'misbehaved 7 programs. 

Promise and performance 

And, of course, both DESQviews have all 
the features that made prior versions the 
popular choice in operating environments. 
The ability to multitask in 640K and 
beyond. View programs in windows or 
full screen. Transfer data. Access DOS via 
menus. Dial your phone. And create key- 
stroke macros within and between programs. 

Our story gets better and better 

If there's any doubt about our commitment to 
your PC and PS/2 productivity, just look at our 
accomplishments over the years. We think you 
will understand why GE, Ford, Aetna, 
Monsanto, and so many other major 
corporations use DESQview. 

And why PC Magazine twice gave DESQview its 
Editor's Choice Award for "The Best Alternative 
to OS/2," why readers of Inf oWorld voted 
DESQview "Product of the Year" three times. 
Why, by popular vote at Comdex Fall for two 
years in a row, DESQview was chosen "Best PC 
Environment" in PC Tech Journal's Systems 
Builder Contest, and just won their "Professional 
Solutions" Award. 

DESQview lets you have it all now. 

66 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 





Break the 

640K barrier 

for $59.95 

Your 80386 PC, IBM Personal System/2 Model 
80, PC or AT with 80386 add-in board, as well as 
your IBM Personal System/2 Models 50 or 60 
can all break through the DOS 640K barrier. Now 
you can have maximum use of your 
memory— whether you have one megabyte or 
32— with the Quarterdeck Expanded Memory 
Manager. All without having to purchase special 
expanded memory boards. 

QEMM uses hidden 
features within your 
existing memory to make 
it compatible with the 
Expanded Memory 
Specification (EMS) version 4.0. 

Now you can run colossal spreadsheets, 
databases, and CAD models designed for 
expanded memory, using Lotus 1-2-3, Symphony, 
Framework, Paradox, AutoCAD, Excel and 

And if you'd like to use these programs all 
together —multitasking beyond 640K— QEMM 
works with our popular DESQview multitasking 

If you are one of the 12 million or so I 
8086 or 80286 PC users who feel left out, don't 
despair. We have options that let you keep your 
computer and favorite programs and give you 
today what the newest PCs and operating 
systems are promising for the future. 

Visit your dealer for more information on 
barrier-breaking Quarterdeck products. 

DESOyiew API Toolkit. 

New C and Pascal 
Libraries, Debugger.' 
Panel Designer. And 

API Reference Manual 

The key to the power of the DESQview API, our 
Reference Manual contains all you need to know 
to write Assembly Language programs that take 
full advantage of DESQview's capabilities. And 
there's an 'include' file with symbols and macros 
to aid you in development. 

API C Library 

Here are C language interfaces for the entire set 
of API functions. It supports the Lattice" C, 
Metaware™ C, Microsoft® C, and Turbo C 
compilers for all memory models. Included with 
the C Library package is the API Reference 
Manual and source code for the library. 

API Pascal Library fe ^| L 

The Pascal library provides interfaces foru^^l^ 
entire set of API functions. It supports Turbo 
Pascal V4.0 and V5.0 compilers. Included are the 
API Reference Manual, source code for the library, 
and example programs. 

API Debugger 

The DESQview API Debugger is an interactive 
tool enabling the API programmer to trace and 
single step through API calls from several 
concurrently running DESQview-specif ic 
programs. Trace information is reported sym- 

bolically along with the program counter, 
registers, and stack at the time of the call. Trace 
conditions can be specified so that only calls of 
interest are reported. 

API Panel Designer 

This interactive tool helps you design windows, 
menus, help screens, error messages, and forms. 
It includes an editor that lets you construct an 
image of your panel using simple commands to 
enter, edit, copy, and move text, as well as draw 
lines and boxes. You can then define the charac- 
teristics of the window that will contain the 
panel, such as its position, size, and title. Finally, 
you can specify the locations and types of fields 
in the panel. 

The Panel Designer automatically generates 
all the DESQview API data streams necessary to 
display and take input from your panel. These 
data streams may be grouped into panel libraries 
and stored on disk or as part of your program. 

More Tools are Coming 

Quarterdeck is committed to adding tools as 
needed by our users. To that end we have been 
working with Ashton Tate and Buzzwords 
International on dBASE III and dBASEIV 
translators. And in the works, we have BASIC 
and DOS Extender libraries. 

Quarterdeck Office Systems, 150 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405 (213) 392-9851 

FAX: (213) 399-3802 

For additional information, please use the following Reader Service numbers: DESQview: #207 QEMM: #208 API Tools: #209 API Conference: #210 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 67 


Integrate Text and 
Graphics in Windows 

Precision Software's Su- 
perbase 2 Windows is a 
DBMS that lets you tag TIFF, 
PCX, and IMG images to a 
record. It includes an editor, 
mail merge, label printing, and 
communications capabilities 
with its data management 

Superbase 2 Windows fea- 
tures a VCR-like control panel 
on the bottom of the screen 
that allows you to quickly 
browse forward or backward 
and pause among up to 999 
index sequences. You can 
also use it to select a subset of 
records from within a field 
and access files by index 

Other features include val- 
idation, multiple response, 
time, calculated and virtual 
fields, date parsing, and cross- 
file lookup capability. You 
can import and export data 
from Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 ver- 
sions 2. 1 and 2.2, dBASE II 
and III, and ASCII. 

Superbase 2 Windows in- 
cludes a run-time version of 
Windows 2.03. 
Price: $295. 

Contact: Precision Software, 
8404 Sterling St., Suite A, 
Irving, TX 75063, (214) 
Inquiry 1113. 

Superbase 2 Windows is a database manager with a VCR-like 
control panel that allows quick browsing. 

Hold the Phone 

The telephone works as a 
valuable tool for some, 
but for others it's just plain 
annoying. Varteck's Influence 
is a phone dialer and data- 
base that may alleviate at least 
some telephone tedium. 
Influence stores over 
10,000 names with addresses, 
phone numbers, and descrip- 
tions. You can access that in- 
formation by category, 
keyword, or name. And the 
program acts as a dialer and a 
follow-up file. 

When you receive a call, 
you enter the first two letters of 
the caller's name, and the 
program shows you all the con- 
tacts with that last name. You 
can flip through the informa- 
tion while you're 
on the phone, and 
you can add to it 
with follow-up 
nformation. The 
program runs on 
the IBM PC with 
385K bytes of 
RAM and a hard 
disk drive. 

Price: $98. 

Contact: Varteck, 3 Regent 

St., Suite 304, Livingston, NJ 


Inquiry 1116. 

On the Road Again 

Keeping track of business 
expenses you incur while 
on the road can be inconve- 
nient at best, but WorkSmart 
Technologies has a solution. 
ExpenseSmart lets you fill out 
your expense reports while 
you're on the fly. 

Designed for laptops, the 
program keeps your keystrokes 
to a minimum, according to 
WorkSmart. You can custom- 
ize the program with what- 
ever expense categories you 
need, reimbursement levels, 
and method of payment. 

This menu-driven program 
works with DOS-based sys- 
tems that have at least 5 12K 
bytes of RAM, and it comes in 
both 5 l A - and 3 te-inch 
Price: $79.95. 
Contact: WorkSmart Tech- 
nologies, 5700 Hillcrest Dr., 
Suite PL, Lisle, IL 60532, 
Inquiry 1117. 

Influence does the dialing for you. 

New Excel to Break 
1 -megabyte Barrier, 
Support BIFF 

The new version of Excel 
overcomes the 1 -megabyte 
limit of earlier versions with 
its ability to address a full 8 
megabytes of Macintosh 
RAM, Microsoft reports. 

Excel 2.2 uses the Binary 
Interchange File Format, also 
used by Windows. With 
BIFF, you can transfer and use 
spreadsheets, macros, and 
charts between platforms with- 
out having to convert them. 

The program supports the 
sparse-matrix method of mem- 
ory management, which allo- 
cates memory to cells only 
where you've entered data, 
increasing the efficiency of 
memory use, Microsoft re- 
ports. You can now use up to 
256 fonts in a single spread- 
sheet and adjust row heights to 
accommodate larger font 
sizes or highlight particular 

Other improvements of the 
program include the ability to 
use cell notes to specify as- 
sumptions on a cell-by-cell 
basis, and the use of prece- 
dents and dependents for 
checking proper derivation of 
cell values. You can also 
search and replace a particu- 
lar entry. 

Microsoft has added 200 
macro functions and a macro 
library for common opera- 
tions such as consolidation and 

Excel 2.2 runs on the Mac 
Plus or higher with System 
6.0.2 or higher. HyperCard 
1 .2 is required for a training 
module with lessons on the 
basics, worksheets, charting, 
and databases. 
Price: $395. 

Contact: Microsoft Corp., 
160 1 1 Northeast 36th Way, 
P.O. Box 97017, Redmond, 
WA 98073, (206) 882-8080. 
Inquiry 1114. 


68 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Go Ahead. Make Your Day 

Move Data Between 

Share data easily between applications 
like SCO" Lyrix* SCO Professional, 8 
and SCO Integra™ with the electronic 

Link Up Your Business 
with Electronic Mail 

Exchange messages and files — 
even spreadsheets and graphics — 
across the office or around the world! 

Locate Business 
Contacts Instantly 

Store, update, find, and sort addresses 
and phone numbers quickly and easily 
with the time-saving Directory! 

Your Applications 

Choose the application you need 
quickly and easily directly from the 
menu — or even another application! 

Run Several 
Tasks at Once 

Switch instantly between active tasks 
in different applications at the touch 
of a keystroke! 

Print While 
You Work 

Move on to your next job while your 
last one is printing out — on a local 
or shared workgroup printer! 

Talk Across 
The Office 

Instantly convei-se with other system 
users, screen-to-screen, with the handy 

Schedule Meetings 
and Resources 

Check others' Calendars online for 
available times — then schedule and 
notify them automatically! 

Calculate Within 
Any Application 

Put the four-function, "running-tape" 
capabilities of an online Calculator 
right at your fingertips! 

Add Only the Applications 
You Need 

Build your own customized solution 
by adding individual applications 
as you need them! 

With The SCO Portfolio 
Workgroup Solution 

Get the competitive edge with the SCO Portfolio™ integrated workgroup 

Teamed with the world's most popular UNIX® System — SCO System V 
— the SCO Portfolio solution turns the 386™ personal computer into 
a workgroup powerhouse. 

What's more, users only need to know how to use their familiar applica- 
tions in order to put the amazing power of the UNIX System to work 

With SCO Portfolio and the SCO Portfolio family of business applications, 
everyone in a workgroup can perform virtually any business task — 
from writing reports and creating financial analyses, to scheduling 
meetings and exchanging messages — far more productively than ever. 
And all using a single, standard — and cost-effective — 386-based PC! 

Get started today with SCO Portfolio Suite, and get all the advantages 
of a fully-integrated office system without compromising the functional- 
ity of full-featured business applications — all in one economical 

SCO Portfolio Suite integrates the powerful SCO Lyrix word processing 
system, the SCO Professional 1-2-3® workalike, and the SCO Integra 
industry-standard-SQL database, with SCO Portfolio's convenient desk- 
top tools, customizable menu system, and electronic clipboard — and 
lets you add any other software of your choice under its easy-to-use 
menu, as well. 

Contact your SCO authorized supplier or call (800) 626-UNK (626- 
8649) for more information about SCO Portfolio and SCO Portfolio 
Suite and find out how easy it is to make your day — today! 

(800) 626-UNIX (626-8649) 

(408) 425-7222 
FAX: (408) 458-4227 

THE SANTA CRUZ OPERATION E-MAIL: ...!uunet!sco! info info@sco.COM 

SCO, the SCO logo, and SCO Ponf olio are trademark , and Lyrix and SCO Professional are registered Bademarksof The Santa CncOperalion, Inc. Integra is a trademarkof Coiomandel Industries, UNIX Is a registered trademark of AT&T in the USA and other countries. 386 i s a trademark of Intel Corporation. 1-2-3 is 
a registered tradema/fc of Lotus Development Corporation. • 1989 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5/89 

The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.. 400 Encinal Street, P.O. Box 1900, Santa Cruz, California 95061 USA The Santa Cruz Operation, Ltd., Croxley Centre, Hatteis Lane, Watford WD1 8YN, Great Britain, +44 (0) 923 816344, FAX: +44 (0) 923 817781, TELEX: 917372 scouw c 

Circle 224 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 69 


3-D Perspective Jr. 

Microstat-ll Now With Graphics 
Interface and New Multivariate Module 

Now you can use YOUR 

favorite graphics package 

with Microstat-ll. 

Just some of the packages covered 
include 3-D Perspective Jr., 
Harvard Graphics, Microsoft's 
Chart, Grapher, and others. 

Microstat-II also includes new 
procedures for: 

• Canonical Correlation 

• Factor Analysis 


• Discriminant Analysis 

• Principal Components 

• Cluster Analysis 

• Covariance Analysis 

While Release 1.0 
was good: 

". . . one of the fastest IBM PC 

statistical packages we have 

tested... using Microstat-II is 

a breeze." 


"Installation of Microstat-II is 

simple . . . The user interface is 

clean ... a pleasant package to 


PC Magazine 

Microstat-II Release 
2.0 is even better! 

For a limited time, you can 

purchase Microstat-II Release Grapher 

2.0 for $395.00. Microstat-II 

requires an IBM PC, XT, AT, 

PS2 or compatible with 512K memory or more with either 

a hard disk or two floppy drives. For more information, 

contact your local computer dealer or call: 

Ecosof t, Inc. 

6413 N. College Ave. 
Indianapolis, IN 46220 
Orders: 1-800-952-0472 

Info: 1-317-255-6476 

FAX: 1-317-251-4604 

3-D Perspective Jr., Harvard Graphics, Grapher, Microsoft's Chart and IBM are all registered or unregistered 
trademarks of the following companies respectively: 3-D Graphics, Inc., Software Publishing Corp., Golden 
Software Inc., Microsoft Inc., IBM Inc. 


z W r VTW 7 %m:mimimMm:mt 

Moving Numbers on a Mac 

Mathematicians' soft- 
ware needs vary from 
simple equation processing 
to sophisticated plotting and 
modeling. Two recently re- 
leased programs for the 
Macintosh take very differ- 
ent approaches to the task of 
number manipulation. 

Formulator lets you merge 
text with your numbers. It is 
an equation processor that 
offers a WYSIWYG display 
and has a built-in text editor. 
Mathematical typesetting 
features let you italicize 
variables, change type size, 
insert space between opera- 
tions, and alter the position 
of delimiters. 

You can insert, delete, 
and copy anything from, a 
symbol to a whole formula— 
within a document, or from 
one document to another, ac- 
cording to ICOM Simula- 

The program includes the 
Magnifying Glass icon, 
which doubles the size of a 
document for easy editing of 
small characters; the Greek 
icon, which opens a palette 
containing the Greek char- 
acter set; and Left, Center, 
and Right Justify icons, 
which let you choose how to 
justify lines of text, formu- 
las, elements in a formula, 
and columns in matrices. 
The program also contains a 
full library of symbols. 

Formulator outputs in 
TeX. The program runs on 
the Mac Plus, SE, and II. 
Price: $149.95. 
Contact: ICOM Simula- 
tions, Inc., 648 South 
Wheeling Rd., Wheeling, 
IL 60090, (312) 520-4440. 
Inquiry 1108. 

An all-new version of the 
equation-solving program 
TK Solver Plus combines 
equation solving with knowl- 
edge management. 

You can use the program 
as a basic equation solver and 
scientific calculator to solve 
sets of simultaneous linear 
or nonlinear equations. You 
enter equations as you see 

TK Solver Plus is a rule- 
based declarative language 
that lets you solve problems 
using an object-oriented 
method. Interactive tables 
supply a spreadsheet-like 
format for input and output 
of user-defined functions. 

You can produce high-res- 
olution line, bar, and pie 
charts as well as tables of 
data using TK Solver Plus. 
You can also plot multiple 
curves in the same graph and 
any number of graphs in the 
same model. A whole model 
or any part can be saved or 
added to other models using 
a cut-and-paste approach. 
You can transfer data between 
TK Solver Plus and other 
programs via files in WKS, 
WK1,DIF, or ASCII format. 

Universal Technical Sys- 
tems, designer of TK Solver 
Plus, reports that all ver- 
sions of TK Solver are com- 
patible, so you can port data 
from Mac to DOS environ- 

TK Solver Plus runs 
on any Mac from the 512KE 

Price: $395. 

Contact: Universal Techni- 
cal Systems, Inc., 1220 
Rock St., Rockford, IL 
61101, (800) 435-7887 or 
Inquiry 1109. 

Cam Design 

CamDes assists you in de- 
signing and analyzing 
cams and cam-driven 

To use the program, you 
describe the motion require- 
ments of the cam, followed 
by selecting from known kine- 
matic profiles. Information is 
output to screen, printer, or 
disk and is calculated in tabu- 

70 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 89 on Reader Service Card 


Pay us the street price 
for Quattro and we'll give you 

Two Control 

and Alternate 

keys for 




Esc key. 

Twelve function 
keys for increased 

msable template 
to label your function 

key assignments. 

Switch allows 

you to swap tvsutve 

'position of Ctrl * ffC 5r , 


for alt IBM XX 
AX PS/2 and 

I Extra large 
Backspace and 
Enter keys. 

n Separate numeric keypad that switches to 
a multi-function business calculator 
with tilt-up LCD display Includes memory, 
square root and percent keys. 

Keyboard and 
calculator status 
indicator lights. 

Separate cursor 
and screen 

control keys. 

Solar panel 
to power the 
even when 
the com- 
puter is 


$149. 95 buys you both 
the hot-selling spread- 
sheet and the 

For just $149.95-less 
than Quattro's street 
price, and a lot less 
than its $247.50 sug- 
gested retail price, you 
can now get both Bor- 
land's best-seller and 
the keyboard you need 
to drive it at top speed. 

Namely, the Turbo- 
Calc-lir Keyboard/ 
Calculator from 

Boost your 
overall performance. 
With its built-in, 
presentation-quality graphics, intelli- 
gent recalcs, unlimited macros, easy 
installation and compatibility with 
leading spreadsheet and database 
software, Quattio is made to order 
for your business. 

And TurboCalc-111 is made to 
order for Quattro. Or for any other 
software you like to drive. 

Because, as you can see, it's loaded 
with features designed to turbo- 


"More than 1-2-3* at 

less than half the cost" 

Thais what PC Magazine 

says about Quattro* the 

hot-selling spreadsheet 

from Borland. Imagine 

what they'll say about 

this extraordinary 

charge your spreadsheet and typing 

Like our famous tactile, positive- 
response keys that give 
you a much better feel for 
the toad. So you can type 
faster with fewer mistakes 
than ever before. 

And the new, enhanced 
IBMlOl-key layout with 
some logical improve- 
ments—including separate 
numeric and cursor keys 
that let you cruise through 
spreadsheet data entry 
without ever having to 
shift Num Lock. 
Get better mileage 
from your desktop. 
In case you haven't noticed 
already, the keypad 
doubles as a full-function 
business calculator com- 
plete with its own pop-up 
LCD display. Which saves 

space on your desktop and lets you 

perform any calculation with a single 

keystroke— no matter what software 

you're driving. 
What's more, the keypad packs a 

solar panel, so you can start up the 

calculator even when your computer 

is idle. 

We wouldn't steer 
you wrong. 

Frankly getting into a Datadesk key- 

board would be an inspired idea at 
this price even if you didn't get 
Quattio in the bargain. 

After all, as InfoWorld says, "if you 
haven't looked at Datadesk's key- 
boards, you ought to!' 

According to the Washington Post, 
"for ingenuity of design and sheer 
dollar value, Datadesk can't be beat'.' 

And when it comes to your peace 
of mind, nothing beats our two-year 

What's more, if Quattro and Turbo- 
Calc-111 don't blow the doors off the 
vehicles you're currently driving, just 

send them back within 30 days and 
well cheerfully refund your $149.95. 

No questions asked. 

How, you ask, can you take advan- 
tage of this remarkable offer? Just fill 
out the coupon and send it in. 

Better yet, call us toll-free. 

And tell us to step on it. 


All individual trademarks and copyrights aie acknowledged. 



<P<4 Af\ QCn Bundle includes Datadesk's TurboCalc-111 
wp I ZLVJ -Z ^- Keyboard/Calculator for ffilVTand compatibles and 
A* I ^ Borland's Quattro spreadsheet. Add $10 shipping and handling 
per unit (Continental U.S. only). CA residents please add $9.75 sales tax per unit. 
# of Units: Amount Enclosed: 

Computer Type*: Disk Size: D 3%" □ 5W 

*lf PS/2, include additional $5 for cable adapter. 


Card No: Exp. Date: 

Company Name 

Daytime Telephone 

City State Zip 

Mail to: Datadesk, 7651 Haskell Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91406. FAX: (818) 780-7307 

Or Call: (800) 826-5398. In CA, Call: (800) 592-9602 

Circle 316 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BY' 

CMO... Your Nationwide Source 

Ana kin Research 

Easyl Drawing/ 2000 $349 

Easyl Drawing/ 500 319 


Keyboard w/Macros 99 

Laser Xpress 2149 

Digital Creations 

Supergen 709 

Great Valley Products 

A2000 - 2/2 749 

A2000 HC/40M 719 

A2000 HC/40Q 829 

A500 HD/30 799 

A500 HD/40M 899 


3Vi" External Air Drive 149 

3Vi" Internal Air Drive 119 


Starboard II w/512K 449 

Upperdeck 45 

Progressive Peripherals 

Pro-Gen Genlock 389 

Frame Grabber $319 

Spirit Technology 

1.5MB Bd. w/OK (A1000) 245 
1.5MB Bd. w/OK (A500) 255 



NP-30 Mac 150cps 289 


ScripTen leaser 3395 

Crystal Print Publisher 3299 


SP-1000AP Mac 239 


Integra 20 External 559 

Integra 40 External 799 


EMAC 20 Deluxe 20MB 579 

EMAC 60T 60MB Backup 799 


SinglePage Display SE 759 

DualPage Display SE 1259 


9CM080 14" VGA Display 499 


Tops for Mac 2.1 $149 

Tops FlashCard 169 

Tops NetPrint 125 

Tops FlashBox 129 
Practical Peripherals 

Mac 2400 Stand Alone 239 



Video 210+ 12" Amber 99 

Video 432 VGA Monochrome 149 

Color 732 VGA Color 399 


SinglePage Display 699 


7BM623 12" TTL Amber 89 

CM8762 14" Comp/RGB 235 

9CM053 14" HiRes EGA 339 

9CM062 14" VGA Display 349 

9CM082 14" VGA Display 399 


DiamondScan 13" Display 499 


JC-1403 Multisync IIA 489 

Packard Bell 

PB-1272 12" TTL Mono 80 

PB-1472 14" TTL 132 Col. 109 

PB-1422EG 14" HiRes EGA 359 


Video 410 TTL 
Monochrome $ 139 


Palette EGA Plus 2199 

Seiko Instruments 

CM-1430 14" VGA 559 


119 12" Composite Amber 89 

Wyse Terminals 

WY-30, 50, 60 Call 


ZFM-1490 14" VGA Analog 619 



Color Half Card 
Monochrome Graphics Adpt. 


Six Pak Plus Board $125 

VGA Plus Adapter 389 
Boca Research 

TopHat 128K Expansion 119 

BocaRam/AT 0-4MB Board 149 

Boca Dual Graphics Adapter 69 

Boca MultiEGA 169 


Irma 2 3278 Board 699 




v a . a 


I i 

. ^r:x::::.::.r:t::'::. 

1 H^ill 

1 1 pr^vTT^H 

Vega VGA Adapter 

s 269 


3XTwin 5251 Local Emulat. 


Magic I/O AT Par/Ser 

Ram 3000 Deluxe 0-3MB Bd. 

Micro Enhancer EGA 

5th Generation 

Logical Connection 256K 


Graphics Card Plus 


AboveBoard 2 Plus w/OK 

AboveBoard PS/286 w/512K 

AboveBoard Plus w/512K 

AboveBoard Plus I/O 512K 

Inboard 386/PC 80386 CPU 

8087 IBM PC/XT CoProc. 








80287-8 IBM XT 8MHz CoP. 219 

80387-16 16MHz 80386 399 

Orchid Technology 

ProDesigner VGA 319 

TinyTurbo 286 229 


RVGA2 800x600 256K-PAL 259 

Headland Technology 

Fast Write Video Adapter 319 

V-RAM VGA Adapter 469 


American Power 

450AT + UPS Backup 439 


Floppy Stream 40 40MB Int. 359 
Excel Stream 40T 40MB Int. 529 

Your Source for Hardware, Software & Peripherals 

72 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

For Quality Computer Products 


8425 20MB 3Vi" 40Msec 
3650 40MB 5VT 61 Msec 
3053 44MB 5V4" 25Msec 
3085 70MB 5VT 18Msec 
Mountain Computer 
TD-4340 40MB Int. Tape 
TD-8000 80MB Ext. Tape 
Plus Development 
20MB Hardcard 





ST-225 20MB w/cont 249 

ST-238 30MB w/cont 269 

Bridge-File 5tt" External 249 

Bridge-Tape 40MB External 479 

Smartlmage 60MB Internal 479 

QIC-File 60MB External 599 

Omni Board Controller 80 



Bravo 80286 Model 5 

Premium 286 Model 70 


Deskpro & Portable 286/386 Call 


PS/2 Model 30 w/20MB 


Multimate Laptops 


Business Partner FX-1650 


ProSystem 12MHz w/40MB 


T1200 Floppy/HrdD Lptp 

T1600 80c286 12MHz Lptp 


80286/386 Desktops 

SuperSport & Superspt 286 







T1000 8088 Laptop 




2400 Buad External 


XMM301 XL/XE 300 Baud $ 45 

SX-212 ST Modem 90 


1200 HC External 99 

2400 Baud Internal 129 


Evercom 12 1200 Baud Int. 80 

Evercm 24 2400 Internal 149 

Evercm 24E+ 2400 Bd. Ext. 189 


Personal Modem 1200 Ext. 129 

SmartModem 1200 Baud 289 

SmartModem 2400 Baud 429 


2400EX External 299 


Ml 200 Facsimile 699 


UF-140 Panafax Facisimile 899 

FX-89 Fax Board 699 

FX-505 Hi-Res Scanner 1049 

Practical Peripherals 

1200 Baud Internal 69 

1200 Baud Stand Alone 85 

2400 Baud Stand Alone 139 

2400 Baud Internal 189 


2400 Baud Lightning f/i 
s 99 



FO-220 Facsimile Machine 899 


2400AT 2400 Baud Atari 169 

The Complete PC 

Complete FaxBoard 4800 269 
Complete Answ. Machine 239 
Complete HandScanner 149 



ASP- 1000 9-Pin Flatbed 159 


M-1709 240cps, 132 Col. 369 

M1724L 24-Wire, 132 Col. 569 

HR-20 20cps Daisywheel 329 

HR-40 40cps Daisywheel 589 


LX-810 200cps, 80 Col. 189 

FX-850 264cps, 80 Col. Call 

FX-1050 264cps, 132 Col. Call 

LQ-510 180cps, 24-Wire 339 

LQ-850 330cps, 24-Wire Call 

LQ-950 264cps, 24-Wire Call 

LQ-1050 330cps, 132 Col. Call 


2225 Thinkjet 329 

Pacific Data 25-in-l Font 279 


P2200 Pinwriter 24-Wire 359 

P5200 Pinwriter 265cps 549 


ML-172 180cps, 80 Col. 199 

ML-182 Trbo 220cps, 80 Col.245 

ML-320 300cps, 80 Col. $359 

ML-390 270cps, 24-Wire 499 


KX-P1180 192cps, 80 Col. 185 

KX-P1191 280cps, 80 Col. 249 

KX-P1124 192cps, 24-Wire 349 

KX-P1524 24-Wire, 132 Col. 559 

Cpj Ij- Ark *» 

SP1600AI 160cps, 9-pin 179 

SK3000AI 300cps, Color 349 
Star Micronics 

NX-1000 144cps, 80 Col. 159 

NX-1000 RainBow Color 229 

NX-2400 24-Wire, 80 Col. 369 



DS-3000 FlatBed Scanner 549 
Houston Instruments 

9012 HIPAD+ 12"xl2" Tblt 399 

PC695A 4-Pen A&B Plotter 599 


DT-3503 1 l"xl 1" Digitizer 379 


SummaSketch +12"xl2" 399 


Ashton-Tate dBase IV 


Ashton-Tate MultiMate II $289 

Bloc PopDrop 32 

Bloc Form Tools 55 

Borland Paradox R-Database 439 

Borland Quattro 149 

Central Point PC Tools 50 

DAC EASY Accounting 60 

Delrina Per FORM 159 
5th Generation FastBack Plus 99 

Fox Base + Development 199 
IMSI OptiMous w/Dr. Halo III 79 

IMSI Turbo CAD 59 

Intuit Quicken 33 

Logitech PS/2 2-button 59 

Lotus Lotus 1-2-3 299 

MECA Managing Your $ 119 

Meridian CarbonCopy + 119 

MicroPro Wordstar Pro 5.0 199 

Microsoft Mouse 109 

MSC OmniMouse 35 

Nolo Press WillMaker 35 

Peter Norton Adv. Utilities 80 

Peachtree Accounting 169 

Quarterdeck DESQView 80 

Server Technology EasyLan 1 79 

SPC 1st Choice 3.0 90 

SPC 1st Publisher 2.0 80 

SPC Professional Write 2.0 179 

TOPS for DOS 125 

Traveling Lap-Link + 85 

WordPefect 5 219 
Xerox Ventura Publishing 2.0479 



ScanMan Scanner 400 DPI 
s 185 

Your Source for Hardware, Software & Peripherals 

In U.S.A. 


In Canada call: 800-233-8949 

All Other Areas call: 717-327-9575 Fax call: 717-327-1217 

Educational, Governmental and Corporate Organizations 

Call toll-free: 1-800-221-4283 
CMO, 101 Reighard Ave., Dept. Al, Williamsport, PA 17701 


POLICY: Add 3% (minimum $7.00) shipping and handl- |U| WkMtf* 
ing. Laiger shipments may require additional chaiges. Per- |^y | Mwr IQ^P 
sonal and company checks require 3 weeks to clear. For 

faster delivery, use your credit card or send cashier's check . .u^ - p^M^ei"^^^ ..* 
or bank money order. Credit cards are not charged until we ship. Pennsylvania 
and Maryland residents add appropriate sales tax. All prices are U.S.A. prices and 
are subject to change. All items are subject to availability. Defective software will 
be replaced with the same item only. Hardware will be replaced or repaired at our 
discretion within the terms and limits of the manufacturer's warranty. We cannot 
guarantee compatibility. All sales are final and returned shipments are subject to 
a restocking fee. We are not responsible for typographic or photographic errors. 


Circle 63 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 73 



Service Diagnostics 

All the software, alignment diskettes, parallel/serial wrap-around 
plugs, ROM POSTs and extensive, professional documentation to 
provide the most comprehensive testing available for IBM PCs, 
XTs.ATs and all compatibles under DOS or Stand Alone. No other 
diagnostics offers such in-depth testing on as many different types of 
equipment by isolating problems to the board and chip level. 

NEW: SuperSoft's ROM POST performs the most advanced 
Power-on-Self-Test available for system boards that are compatible 
with the IBM ROM BIOS. It works even in circumstances when the 
Service Diagnostics diskette cannot be loaded. 

NEW: 386 diagnostics for hybrids and PS/2s! 
For over nine years, major manufacturers have been relying on 
SuperSoft's diagnostics software to help them and their customers 
repair microcomputers. End users have been relying on SuperSoft's 
Diagnostics II for the most thorough hardware error isolation 
available. Now versions of Service Diagnostics are available to save 
everyone (including every serious repair technician) time, money, 
and headaches in fixing their computers, even non-IBM equipment. 

All CPUs & Numeric Co-processors 
System Expansion & Extended Memory 
Floppy, Fixed & Non-standard Disk Drives 
Standard & Non-standard Printers 
System Board: DMA, Timers, Interrupt, 
Real-time Clock & CMOS config. RAM 

All Color Graphics & Monochrome 

Parallels Serial Ports 
Mono, CGA, Hercules & EGA 

All Keyboards & the 8042 Controller 

Join theranksof XEROX, NCR, CDC, SONY, PRIME,. ..who have 
bundled SuperSoft's diagnostics with their microcomputers at no risk 
because of our 30 day money back guarantee. 

Service Diagnostics for PC, PC/XT, and compatibles only $169 

Alignment Diskette for PC, PC/XT and compatibles (48 tpi drives) $ 50 

Wrap-around Plug for PC, PC/XT and compatibles (parallel and serial) . . $ 30 

Service Diagnostics for AT and compatibles only $169 

Alignment Diskette for AT and compatibles (96 tpi drives) $ 50 

Wrap-around Plug for AT (serial) $ 15 

ROM POST for PC, PC/XT and compatibles only $245 

ROM POST for AT and compatibles only $245 

Service Diagnostics: The KIT (Includes all of the above— save $502). $495 
Service Diagnostics for 386 or V2, V30, or Harris, etc. (please specify). . .$195 
Diagnostics II is the solution to the service problems of users of all 

CP/M-80, CP/M-86 and MS-DOS computers $125 

ROM POST for PS/2 and compatibles only $245 

Alignment Diskette for PS/2 and compatibles (3.5 inch) $ 50 

To order, call 800-678-3600 or 408-745-0234 
FAX 408-745-0231, or write SuperSoft. 

SupetS ft 

FIRST IN SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY P.O. Box 61132a San Jose, CA 95161-1328 (408) 745-0234 Telex 270365 

SUPERSOFT is a registered trademark of SuperSoft, Inc.; CDC of Control Data Corp.; IBM PC, AT & XT of 
International Business Machines Corp.; MS-DOS of Microsoft Corp.; NEC of NEC Information Systems, Inc., 
PRIME of PRIME INC.; Sony of Sony Corp. 



lar and graphical form. 

You can access graphical 
diagrams in the program and 
use them to illustrate the dy- 
namic and kinematic profiles 
over the full 360 degrees of 
cam motion, according to 

CamDes is error-trapped 
and includes flagging options 
that point out possible defi- 
ciencies in the cam design. You 
can store and retrieve your 
designs for later use. 

Ten standard kinematic 
motions are supported, and the 
program handles plate, bar- 
rel, and linear cams. 

To run CamDes, you need 
an IBM PC with 384K bytes of 
RAM, DOS 2.0 or higher, 
and a CGA or EGA card. 
Price: $89. 

Contact: MicroAnalysis 
Software, 26148 Tallwood 
Dr., North Olmsted, OH 
Inquiry 1111. 

Low-Cost High- 
Resolution Scientific 

Plotting technical or sci- 
entific graphs from data 
entered into text windows is 
what Edtech does best. The 
program reads and writes 
from or to data in its own data- 
base files, WKS files, or 
ASCII text files. 

Edtech's graphics screen 
editor lets you size and position 
graphs, labels, and diagrams 
at arbitrary positions on the 

The program supports 
Epson LQ or Toshiba P321 
printers and provides hard 
copy at 180 by 180 dpi. A page 
is 1440 dots horizontally by 
1800 dots vertically. 

Greek and mathematical 
symbols are also available. 

The program runs on the 

IBM PC with 640K bytes of 
RAM. You also need a 24- 
pin printer and a CGA, EGA, 
or Hercules graphics adapter. 
A math coprocessor is 
Price: $65. 

Contact: Digital Analytics, 
P.O. Box 31430, Houston, TX 
Inquiry 1110. 

A Partner 
in the Lab 

L absolutions automates 
multicomponent solution 
and buffer preparation 

For chemical reagents, you 
specify the concentrations de- 
sired, and the program calcu- 
lates the amounts of compo- 
nents needed. For buffers, 
you specify the pH, and the 
program calculates the 
amounts of each buffer form or 
the amounts of common acids 
or bases needed. 

The program accepts all 
standard units of weight, vol- 
ume, and concentration. Mo- 
lecular weights are calculated 
from atomic formulas or 
chemical names. 

Routines are also included 
for mixing and diluting 

A database of chemicals, 
buffers, and acids is included, 
which you can modify with 
your own entries. You can also 
store your solution recipes on 
disk or print hard copies. 

LabSolutions runs on the 
IBM PC or PS/2s with 256K 
bytes of RAM. 
Price: $99. 

Contact: The Center for Sci- 
ence Support, Inc., 54 Brattle 
St., Arlington, MA 02174, 
(617) 646-1466. 
Inquiry 1112. 


74 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 241 on Reader Service Card 

I*"' i i 


How Tfelebit modems can give 
you a graphic description 

in no time. 

When you need error-free graphics in seconds, 
you need a Telebit" high-speed, dial-up modem. 
Because only our modems can meet the critical 
demands of graphics. 

Like transferring medical images for diag- 
noses—where a lost pixel can be life-threatening, 
and where nearly perfect isn't nearly good 
enough. Which is why a major East Coast hospital 
chose Telebit. Now they're sending 1 million 
bytes of critical data from a graphics-plot screen 
in seconds, error-free. 

That's also why a national weather service 
picked Telebit to collect real-time weather infor- 
mation at U.S. radar sites. Only Telebit modems 
made the connection every time. 

Imagine what Telebit modems will do for you. 

On all applications, from CAD/CAE/CAM 

Circle 246 on Reader Service Card 

and electronic publishing to 
point of purchase, remote 
diagnostics, and more. 

All with our family of high- 
speed modems. From 9600 bps 
to 19,200 bps, including V.32. 

To get the graphic details and a free 
application brochure, call 1-800-TELEBIT 
or 415/969-3800. 

Or write Telebit, 1345 Shorebird Way, 
Mountain View, CA 94043. 

Because no one gets the BS8»^ 
message through like Telebit. 

© 1989, Telebit is a registered trademark of 

Telebit Corporation. Other product names 

are trademarks of their respective holders. r ■ jm i-w» w i ■ v | y ■ 1® 

Medical image courtesy of Ramtek. Map I |^ I l* I \u 

courtesy of ColorGraphics Systems, Inc.— * 

a Dynatech Co. When connectivity counts. 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 75 


Complete 12MHz '286 
with 32MB Hard Drive! 

Only $1395.00 

Its the fastest 786-12 you can buy. Workhorse 
of the industry: Rugged from the ground up. 
Tim [trmZemMiit state system features a 
fast Seagate auto-park hard drive Nothing 
can touch it! 

Keyboard} 'hardware selectable. Reset and 
Turin) buttons right upfront. 

■ Zew-Wait State DRAM, 512K expandable 
to 4MB on the motherboard (16MB System 
Total), EMS capability! 

■ Fast 32MB Seagate 138R Hard Drive with 
auto-park L2MB Floppy Drive. 

• Ultra high speed Hard/ Floppy controller. 
1:1 interleave, 800 KB/sec transfer rate. 

■ Genuine Hercules' brand graphics controller, 
High-Res Amber Display with Tilt/ 'Snivel. 

« ZEOS Enhanced 101 Key Keyboard, with 
Pleasant Txictik/ Click Feel 

■ Serial and Parallel Printer Ports. 

■ Clock /Calendar with Baitety Backup. 

■ 646 and 2-8 bit expansion slots. 

* 80287 support. 

■ Heavy Duty Case complete with Security 
Lock and LED indicators. 


286/20- At 2QMEz, the. fastest 286. 
Complete with our 32MB, 33ms Hard Drive 
and 1MB RAM. This is what Daztiiw 
Speed is all about Only $2095.00 

*fbr Overall 


«OW° 1 *" names- 401 

PCMagawe, May 30,1989 

In the May 30th issue PC Magazine 
reviewed 104 machines from 58 man- 
ufacturers. Virtually every '386 in 
production was tested. The systems 
were grouped into three speed cate- 
gories, 16, 20and 25MHz. In two 
of the three categories only one com- 
pany was selected for "overall excel- 
lence!' That company is ZEOS. 
The selection of ZEOS over 
IBM, Compaq and all others is a 
direct reflection of our goals and 
objectives. Simply to deliver to 
you the very best value in com- 
puting today. To further quote 
PC Magazine: 
'Trice is always a consideration. So are bench- 
mark results. But both factors can be deceiving, which is 
why we consider other aspects that will make the difference months midyears 
down the road. Things like quality of construction, reliability expandability and 
ease of service!' 

These are the qualities PC Magazine used when selecting ZEOS over 
57 others. These are the qualities we build into each and every ZEOS system. 
And that's our commitment to you. To quality To performance. To reliability 
and support. To Value. Comparing ZEOS to virtually every other manu- 
facturer in the world PC Magazine called it "overall excellence!' 

In all areas ZEOS systems are top performers. Take our guarantee for 
instance. We offer every customer a 30 day Full Refund Satisfaction Guarantee. 
And that's backed up by our Full One ^ear Limited Warranty and our Express 
Parte Replacement pol icy 

And then there's Technical Support. At ZEOS, Technical Support is not 
only free, iHsTbllFree. Seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

Quality, Performance, Reliability and Sup- 
port. Overall Excellence That's why ZEOS is 
i PC Magazine's #i choice. And that's why 
ZEOS is your best choice as well. So pick out 
your dream machine today and order it now 
with confidence. %ur choice of ZEOS excel- 
lence is Guaranteed. Order now by calling 

AH prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Please call for current pricing and warranty details. ZEOS is a 
publicly traded company; MPLS/St. Paul Local OTC. 01989 ZEOS International. Ltd.. 530 5th Avenue, N.W, St. Paul.MN 55112 
IBM is'a reg siered trademark of IBM Corporation, Compaq is a registered trademark of Compaq Computer Corporation, 

/ {■.OS .^fvlti ZKOS/St^li /h 

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If your idea of Romance Languages 
includes BASIC and C, then we have a 

co* oV $ffifFt&# great deal f0r y0U ' 





D U.S.A $24.95 for 1 year 

□ Canada $26.95 U.S. for 1 year 

□ Bill me 

□ Payment enclosed 

□ Charge to my ( ) VISA ( ) MasterCard 

Account # 



Packed with in-depth information on the lat- 
est in microcomputing, BYTE magazine is 
written to stimulate the minds of almost half 
a million personal computing experts. Now, 
you too can enjoy BYTE each month at our 
special introductory rate. 

Subscribe now and save $17 off the news- 
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Company _ 


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Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing your subscription. 

. Code . 






Subscription Department 
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Hightstown, N.J. 08520-9409 









'386/ V 

The New ZEOS 386SX Hard 
Drive System. Below '286 Prices! 

Only $1895.00 


Complete ZEOS 20MHz 
'386 System 80MB SCSI Drive! 

Only $2995.00 

16 MHz system from $2295! 

Complete 25MHz '386 
Vertical System. 80MB SCSI Drive! 

Only $3995.00 

Complete 33MHz systems only $4995! 

PC Magazine says "386SX- based machines are 
the right choice . . ." the new ZEOS 386SX is why. 
The future is yours now ivith the new ZEOS 
'386SX. Its even priced below comparable 
'286 systems! 

■ 80386SX-16 CPU, 8116MHz Dual Speed 
Keyboard Selectable. Reset/Turbo buttons. 

■ 512K DRAM, expandable to 8MB on board 
(16 MB System Total). 

■ Shadow RAM and EMS capability. 

■ Fast 32MB Seagate 138R Hard Drive, 
1.2MB FDD 

■ Ultra high speed Hard/Floppy controller. 1:1 
interleave, 800 KB I second transfer ?ute. 

■ Genuine Hercules* brand graphics controller. 
High-Res Amber Display with Tilt/ Swivel. 

■ ZEOS Enhanced Tactile/Click keyboard. 

■ High Speed Serial and Parallel ports. 

■ 6-16, 2-8 bit expansion slots. 80387SX Math 
coprocessor support. 

■ ZEOS space saver case Including Security Lock 
and LED Micators. 

The new 386 desktop standard. Featuring our 
64K CACHE (twice that of most competitors) 
providing Zero-Wait State performance vastly 
superior to page I interleave memory schemes. 
Incredible value. 

■ High speed Zero-Wait 64K SRAM CACHE. 

■ Genuine 32-bit Intel 8038620MHz CPU. 

■ 1MB 0/Zero-Wait DRAM Expandable to 
16MB System Total. 

■ Fast 80MB, 28ms SCSI Seagate Hard Drive, 
1.2MB Floppy Drive. 

■ High speed HDD/FDD SCSI Host Adapter 
with Software. 

■ Genuine Hercules* brand graphics controller: 
High-Res Amber Display with Tilt/ Swivel. 

■ 101 Key ZEOS Tactile /Click keyboard. 

■ High speed Serial and Parallel Ports. 

■ 132, 6-16 and 1-8 bit slots. 

■ 80387 math coprocessor support. 

■ ZEOS 5-baycase. Including Security Lock and 
LED Micators. 

ZEOS 25MHz and 33MHz 80386 systems are 
the fastest, most advanced available anywhere. 
Review after review, these ZEOS systems are 
selected as the best price/ performance buys. A 
power-user's dream. 

■ High Speed Zero-Wait 64K CACHE. 

■ Genuine 32-bit Intel 386-25 or 33MHz CPU. 

■ 1MB Zero-Wait 32-bit DRAM expandable to 
8MB on board plus 16MB 32-bit expansion 
(24MB total). 

■ Fast 80MB, 28 ms SCSI Seagate Hard Drive, 
1.2MB Fbppy Drive. 

•Highspeed HDD/FDD SCSI Host Adapter 
with software. 

■ Genuine Hercules 9 brand graphics controller, 
High-Res Amber Display with Tilt/ Swivel. 

■ 101 Key ZEOS Tactile/ Click keyboard. 

■ High Speed Serial and Parallel Ports. 

■ 1-32, 6-16 and 1-8 bitsbts. 

• ■ 80387 and Weitek 3167 support. 

■ Heavy Duty 6-bay Vertical Case. 
Desktop configurations deduct $150.00! 

Options Galore: As PC Magazine said, "more options than even the most 
configuration hungry hound could possibly need." Including 14" VGA, add 
only $595. And incredible selection of hard drives: SCSI, RLL,ESDIor 
MFM and virtually any other add-on you could want! Corporate leasing 
plans are available, too. Call Toll Free for details 800-423-5891. 

Order Now Toll Free 


FAX Orders Dial: 612-633-1325 
In Minnesota Call: 612-633-4591 
MasterCard, VISA and COD 

Open days, evenings and weekends 

Se habla Espanol. 

Circle 285 on Reader Service Card 

Circle 118 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 119) 




Finally, full-featured 
communications software 
for Microsoft's Windows 

CiPQ (A Programmable Emulator) 

■ Powerful! Easy-to-use scripting 

■ Multiple scripts can run concurrently 

■ Multi-national character set support 

■ A wide variety of terminal emulations 

■ Can act as an information switch using DDE 

■ XModem, XModemlK, YModem, and Kermit protocols 

■ Built-in line monitor and data capture facility 



1142 Pelican Bay Drive, Daytona Beach, Florida 32019 


Site licensing & dealer inquiries welcome 

In Europe call TeleSIGMA AB 46-8-735-8560 


otect Intelligence 
With Intelligence 



Software Protection KEYs By ProTech 

ProTech KEYs: 


are totally transparent to the 
end user 

□ allow unlimited back up copies 

□ free up disk drives 

□ do not interfere with 
peripheral operations 

□ are easy to install 

□ protect software 
developers' revenues 

□ assembler based routines 
(not drivers) 

□ encrypted routines 

□ physically unique hardware KEYs 

□ sophisticated software 
installation advice 

□ provide the highest level of 
protection available 


The KEY provides effective software 
protection while insuring customer 
satisfaction. The KEY is a random 
response device which is designed 
for identically reproduced software 


The MEMORY KEY is a programmable 
software protection device. Each 
byte of memory can be addressed 
in groups or individually. Possible 
applications for the MEMORY KEY 

□ modular package control 

□ serialization 

□ customization 

□ access control to PCs 

□ demo control 

□ software leasing 

□ updating modules in the field 

□ any "counter" operation 

For a demonstration package or 
additional information, please write 

^ ca " 1-800-843-0413 

M 5~U:= ^==="1 MARKETING. INC. 

4905 Pine Cone Drive • Building 10 
Durham, North Carolina 27707 
(919) 490-4970 FAX (919) 490-4974 



Image of an office floor plan created with MicroStation Mac. 

MicroStation Mac 

Intergraph's CAD software 
is now available in a Macin- 
tosh version. The two- and 
three-dimensional design soft- 
ware is compatible with other 
MicroStation programs, so you 
can share files without trans- 
lation, according to Intergraph. 

The Mac version features 
resizable windows, dynamic 
tool palettes, dialog boxes, 
and selection sets. You also 
have a choice between the 
Mac or the IBM PC interface. 

MicroStation Mac sup- 
ports up to eight separate views 
of a design for viewing dif- 
ferent perspectives and scales. 
All views are active at the 
same time and can be placed 
on up to six monitors. 

Input is by mouse, tool 
palettes, pull-down menus, 
tablet command menus, or 
key-ins in the command win- 
dow. The program imports 
and exports text and PICT- 
format data types. 

MicroStation Mac runs on 
the Mac SE/30, II, or IIx with 
at least 2 megabytes of RAM 
and a 40-megabyte hard disk 
drive. You also need System 
6.0.2 and Finder 6.1. 
Price: $3300. 

Contact: Intergraph Corp., 
One Madison Industrial Park, 

Huntsville, AL 35807, (800) 
345-4856; in Alabama, (800) 
Inquiry 1121. 

$89 Graphics 
Software Toolkit 

The 3-D Computerscape 
toolkit helps you create 
vivid displays and artistic 
images, according to the pro- 
gram's developers. 

The package includes dem- 
onstration files and programs 
with examples of applications 
in robotics, animation, and 
solids modeling. You can 
create solid objects, edit them, 
and display them. Display 
options include perspective, 
animation, three-dimensional 
rotations, and multiple views. 

You can incorporate the 
program's functions and pro- 
cedures into Turbo Pascal 
programs or use the 3-D Draw- 
ing Board, a three-dimen- 
sional drafting system. 

To run 3-D Computer- 
scape, you need an IBM PC 
with 512K bytes of RAM and 
an EGA card. 
Price: $89. 

Contact: Abbot, Foster, & 
Hauserman Co., 44 Montgom- 
ery St., Fifth Floor, San 
Francisco, CA 94104, (800) 
562-0025 or (415) 955-2711. 
Inquiry 1125. 


78 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 196 on Reader Service Card 




i «► 


ScanMan." Turning imaginations loose everywhere. 

Pop any image up to4"x 7 /" 
straight \ into any IBM 
personal ^^^^, computer 
or Apple Mac" ! 

Select one, two, 
three or four hundred 
D.RI. Resize, rotate, flip 
and edit it With the IBM 
version, use PaintShow Plus 1 " 
(included free) for 
coloring and shad- 
ing, then port 
any popular pub- 

lishing program. 

With the Mac ScanMan use 
the Clipboard™ to transfer the 
image to virtually any 


— the Mac 


works just 

like any Desk 


ScanMan for the PC 
Multi-Channel version 
Macintosh version 


For your nearest dealer, call: 

In California: 

In Europe: 

+ +41-21-869-96-56 

Circle 152 on Reader Service Catxi 
(DEALERS: 153) 

Circle 203 on Reader Service Card 

Desktop 9-Track Tape Subsystem 

Now, 9-track tape 

lets your ihicro 

exchange data 

with minis 

and mainframes. 

9-TRACKis the first choice for file 
interchange among data processing 
professionals. Now, Qualstar's low 
cost 1/2-inch 9-track Ministreamer 
tape systems bring full ANSI data 
interchange to IBM PCs or Macin- 
tosh, giving your micro the freedom 
to exchange data files with nearly 
any mainframe or minicomputer in 
the world. 

Available in both 7" and 10-1/2" 
versions, compact Quaistar tape 
drives can sit on your desktop, using 
less space than an ordinary sheet of 
paper. Systems include DOS or 
XENIX compatible software, cou- 
pler card and cables. High reliabil- 
ity 1600 or 6250 BPI capability may 
be used for disk backup as well as 
data interchange. Discover the big 
advantage 9-track tape has over 
other micro/mainframe links. 

Call us today! 


WSj [J URLS TfJR^ PHONE (818) 882 5822 

9621 Irondate Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 

€>1989 Oualslar Corp. All product and company names and trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners. 

Simply exchange 
data files on a reel 
of 9-track tape. 

• • * « 

* DEC 

• HP 



• • • 

AT&T m 



#1 Setting 

9-Track Systems 

on the Desktop 


Introducing the 

Smallest 80386 based 

PC Compatible Single 

Board Computer 

Only 4" x 6" 

Quark/PC® II 

• EGA® Video/Color LCD Controller 

• SCSI Hard Disk Control 

• Up to 4 Mbytes Memory and more 

To order or enquire call us today. 

Megatel Computer Corporation 

(416) 745-7214 FAX (416) 745-8792 

174 Turbine Drive, Weston, Ontario M9L 2S2 


Germany - Tech Team (06074) 98031 FAX (06074) 90248 
Italy & Southern Europe - NCS Italia (0331) 256-524 FAX (0331) 256-018 
Densitron (0959) 71011 FAX (0959) 71017 


Australia - Asp Microcomputers (03) 500-0628 FAX (03) 5009461 
~ '40488 FAX (Of ' 
• Digtpoint (3580) 757 1711 FAX (3580) 75/0844 

• Ingeniorfirmaet (02) 440488 FAX (p2) 440715 

Denmark - 

Finland • 

Norway - AD Elektronikk (09) 877HO FAX (C&) 875990 

Sweden - (040) 97 10 90 FAX (040) 13 90 38 

Quark isa registered US. trademark of F. & K. MFG. Caltd. EGAisa registered trademark of IBMCor p. 



CAD Overlay lets you import scanned images to VersaCAD. The 
yellow lines are the scanned raster image, and the other colors are 
VersaCAD entities drawn over the scanned image. 

VersaCAD Tool 

If you've ever had to con- 
vert a digitized drawing into 
a VersaCAD format, you 
know it is a lengthy process. 
CAD Overlay saves time and 
trouble by capturing a scanned 
image of a paper drawing and 
importing it quickly into 

You begin by scanning an 
existing paper drawing. CAD 
Overlay displays the scanned 
image in the background of the 
screen, creating a hybrid 
image. You can turn off that 
background image, or move, 
zoom, or pan it. You can trace 
over the image with the Ver- 
saCAD drawing on the same 

Price: $1000. 
Contact: Image Systems 
Technology, Inc., 120 De- 
Freest Dr. , Rensselaer Tech- 
nology Park, Troy, NY 12180, 
Inquiry 1122. 

Scorpion's Raster- 
to-Vector Conversion 

SRV is a batch raster-to- 
vector conversion pro- 
gram that takes computer 
files of drawings you've 

scanned and converts them to 
vector images, which can be 
manipulated with a CAD sys- 
tem. SRV's maker claims that 
over 90 percent of existing 
drawings are prime candidates 
for the conversion process. 

The SRV system converts 
images in the background 
using Scorpion's Motorola 
68030-based coprocessor 
board. During the vectoriza- 
tion process, the software en- 
hances the image by deleting 
isolated pixels, filtering out 
extraneous points on the line 
work, closing gaps in line 
work, and connecting line 
segments. It also normalizes 
line width across a line string 
and recognizes text, Scorpion 

The program retains the 
raster image on a separate layer 
so you can view the vector 
output and the raster data 

SRV runs on an 80286- or 
80386-based PC with Scorpi- 
on's coprocessor board. 
Price: Software only, $6000; 
board and software, $12,000. 
Contact: Scorpion Technol- 
ogies, Inc., 101 Metro Dr., 
Seventh Floor, San Jose, CA 
Inquiry 1124. 


Circle 162 on Reader Service Card 

CDS - Advanced Computer Products / Custom Configured Systems & Upgrades 
CDS AXT Model 72 | 

CDS AT Mode! 12 

CDS 386sx Model 16 

CDS 386 Model 25 

Our Entry Level System won't stick you 
with a slow 8-bit 8088 CPU but give you 
the best low cost system that includes a 
High Performance 80286 Main board 
operating at 7.2 Mhz with full 16-bit zero 
wait state memory access. This system is 
3 to 4 times faster than any XT and still 
provides for the use of lower cost XT 
peripherals. System includes: 

*7.2 Mhz 80288 Main Board 

840K Bytes Memory 
*30 Meg Byte Hard disk 

Case and 150 W Power supply 

* M/IO Card, Serial, Game & Parallel 
Hi-res amber monitor with controller 

* AT style keyboard 



We call this 12 Mhz Zero Waitstate sys- 
tem our Entry level AT because of the 
Fabulous Price Performance Ratio with a 
relative AT speed rating of 15.7 Mhz. 
Special offer includes choice of Std AT 
case or Mini Tower case. Memory con- 
figuration options include 512k, 1 MB, 2 
MB or 4 MB on the main board. This 
system includes: 

* 12 Mhz 80286 Main Board 
640K Bytes Memory 

* 30 MB Hard disk 

Case and 200 W Power supply 

* 1.2MB Floppy Disk 
Hi-res amber monitor 

Graphics controller with printer port 
AT style keyboard 


A lowcost 16Mhzsystem is a great solid 
entry level 80386 product. Overall cost is 
close to 16 Mhz & 20 Mhz 80286 systems 
and yet maintaining the ability to run all 
current and future 80386 Software, (or 
custom configure any system from the 
Main board Table below. 
The system includes: 

* 16 Mhz 80386SX Main Board{See col 7 on table 

1 MB Memoiy 

40 MB Hard disk w/ 40 ms access 

* Mini tower Case / 200 W PS 

* 1.2 MB Floppy Disk 
Hi-res amber monitor 

Graphics controller with printer port 
AT style keyboard 


This 25 Mhz system is a great 386 value 
based on our solid 80386 Chips and Tech 
main board. This system will give you the 
ability to run all 80386 Software or chose 
our80386SXModell6 and save $200. (or 
custom configure any system from the 
Main board Table below. 
The system includes: 

25 Mhz 80386 Main Board(See col 9 on table 

1 MB Memory 

40 MB Hard disk w/ 40 ms access 

* Mini tower Case / 200 W PS 

* 1.2 MB Floppy Disk 
Hi-res amber monitor 

Graphics controller with printer port 
AT style keyboard 


ppy Disks; 

360K 5 1/4 " Fujitsu or Chinon . , . . $ 68 

UMB51/4"FujorChinon $79 

720K3.5" $78 

1.44MB 33" $88 


XT/AT FD 2 Drive 360k,720k, 1.2M 

andl.44M $44 

XT H/Disk DTC MFM or RLL ... Call 

AT Floppy/Hard, MFM, 2:1 $ 99 

ATF/Hard, MFM, DTC 1:1 $149 

AT F/Hard, RLL Adaptec 1:1 ... . $189 

Hard Disks: 

20MBST225 $199 

30MB ST 238 $239 

40MB ST 251-0 $339 

40MBST251-1 $369 

80MB 4096 $589 


14" Amber Flat Screen 


14" EGA/ with cntr add $148 ....$359 
14" VGA/ with cntr add $219 ....$369 
19" VGA only $1449 

Vidlo Controllers 

CGA with printer port .$ 59 

EGA with or without p port $149 

A (800x600) 

A (1024x768) 16 bit $3 


Modems, 2400 Baud, Int. From . . $88 
Modems, 2400 Baud, Ext. From . , $119 
AT IO Card, Ser, Par & Game ... $39 

Dot Matrix Printer... From $145 

PC Mouse From $48 

Power Strip $16 

PC, XT and AT Owners SAVE $! Power Up with our Performance Solutions! CDS has the complete line of System upgrade products! 

CDS has the performance upgrade solution to meet your computing 
needs and budget! 
Current System AT Speed Comparison 
Xr Turbo mmm 4 Mhz 
Bullet 286-10 fc^aa::^^^ 12.6 Mhz 

Bullet 286-12 wmwwwwwwwmmmMwmwx lSAMhz 

XT Solutions (Columns 1,2,3 & 6) Upgrade your XT system to a 12.5 Mhz 80286 AXT 

Main Bd.w/1 MB DRAM only $449. 

Add a 1.2 Meg Floppydrive kit for $ 128 and your system performs like systems costing 
Twice as much. If you want to use existing 150 ns Memory we have AXT boards 
starting at . . $ 179 for our 7.2 mhz XT replacement bd or $ 199 for the 8 or 10 Mhz 
80286 replacement foryour PC or XT. Tnis board is 100% compatable withexisting 
Xr boards and Keyboard resulting in the lowest total upgrade cost. 

AT Solutions (^Columns 3, 4 & 6) Replace your slower AT mother bd with our 12 
Mhz Baby AT (fits original AT) for only...$ 239! This board runs as fast as a 15.6 Mhz 

AT with a Norton SI of 15.2 with existing 120 ns memory. Get our 16 Mhz version 
for $ 329 or look at the 386SX as a solution to future 80386 software requirements. 

80386SX Upgrade Solutions (Column 7) 16 and 20Mhz 80286 performance looks 
impressive but for just a little more you can have a 16 or 20Mhz 80386SX. All the 
performance benifits of running 386 software! From $589 

80386 Solutions (Columns 8 & 9) 80386 Upgrade with Baby sized or full size 386 is 
your solid, reliable 386 solution. Based on the Chips and Tech chip set and a80386-20 
pushed to 25.. (Add $ 200 for -25 CPU) This Board is available in either baby or Full 
size. Full specs below. Special offer.. 386 Board w/lmeg $ 1099 

Compaq Portable Solution (Column 6) The Bridge 286/CP is the ideal Upgrade for 
that trusty Compaq. 12 Mhz Zero wait state performance with up to 6 MB of on board 
memory makes this a long term winner. Board with no memory.... $ 495 

Bridge 286-12 (Column 6) This board is comparable to Transformer with a on board 
four floppy controller and brings full AT 12 Mhz performance to your PCorXT5 Slot 
or 8 Slot. It provides full OS/2 capability with up to 6 MB of on board memoiy. Call 
for special memoiy pricing. Board with no memory.... $ 495 


1 Bullet 286 

2 Bullet 286 

3 Bullet 286 



6 Bridge 286 

7 CCI 386SX 

8 CCI 386 

9 X Golden 386 











Math Co-po 










Cache Ram 










Dram Type 







256/1M SIMMS 


256/1M SIp/DIP 

Mem Speed 




120/100 ns 

80 ns 


100 ns 

100/80 ns 

100/80 ns 

Mem Config 






512K/1M to 6M 


1/2/4/6/8/10 MB 


8 Bit Slots 










16Bit Slots 







32Bit Slots 







Award AMI 

Award AMI 



Award Phoenix 


Relative Speed 










SI Rating 










Price w/o Mem 

$ 239 

$ 249 

$ 349 

$ 495 


$ 799 


Price w/ 1MB 

$ 399 

$ 459 

$ 475 

$ 475 

$ 595 

$ 649 


$ 1059 


Prices subject to change without notice! 

Circle 5 10 on Reader Service Card 

Orders Only 



CDS Advanced Computer Products 

1630 Oakland Rd. Suite A100 
San Jose, Ca 95131 
(408) 437-1003 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 80PC-1 


What's New 


and Computers 

You can catch up on the 
latest developments of 
computer applications in 
studying our largest resource at 
Oceans '89 at the Washing- 
ton State Convention and Trade 
Center on September 1 8-2 1 
in Seattle. Although it is not 
limited to computing and 
oceanography only, computers 
will be heavily involved. 
Among the scheduled 
topics are data acquisition sys- 
tems and databases, control- 
ling autonomous underwater 
vehicles, knowledge-based 
underwater systems, advanced 
marine robotics, remote 
sensing, DSP applications, and 
PC networking for ocean- 
going research vessels. 

Price: IEEE members: be- 
fore September 5, $190; after 
September 5, $220. Non- 
members: $240 and $270, 

Contact: Nancy Penrose, 
Applied Physics Lab, Univer- 
sity of Washington, 1013 
Northeast 40th St., Seattle, 
WA 98105, (206)543-3445. 
Inquiry 920. 

Al Group 

in Santa Clara 

The Silicon Valley Com- 
puter Society now has a 
special-interest group de- 
voted to A I. The SIG is open to 
SVCS members and non- 
members. Meetings are gener- 
ally held at the Techmart, off 
the Great America Parkway in 
Santa Clara. 

Contact: SVCS, 1330 South 
Bascom Ave., Suite D, San 
Jose, CA 95128, (408) 
Inquiry 923. 

Computer Interface 
Design Seminar 

A seminar on how to de- 
sign computer interfaces 
will be held at the University 
of California in Santa Cruz on 
August 23-25. The seminar 
will cover designing for per- 
formance, reduced error 
rates, and user satisfaction. 
Price: $895. 

Contact: Institute in Com- 
puter Science, University of 
California Extension, Car- 
riage House, Santa Cruz, CA 
Inquiry 924. 

Software Quality 

The Seventh Annual Pa- 
cific Northwest Software 
Quality Conference will be 
held September 12-14 in Port- 
land, Oregon. The confer- 
ence begins September 10 with 
half-day tutorials. 

Capers Jones, noted CASE 
expert, will deliver the keynote 
address, and over 400 soft- 
ware professionals are ex- 
pected. The conference will 
be held at the Red Lion/Lloyd 
Price: $100. 
Contact: Lawrence and 
Craig, Inc., P.O. Box 40244, 
Portland, OR 97240, (503) 
Inquiry 919. 


Dare to Compare our Modem's Quality and Pricing. 

2400e Modem 

2400e MNP level 5 Modem 

features: (2400e MNP & 2400e) 

• Supports Microcom Network Protocall which 
Uses File Compression and Error Checking 
Techniques to Boost Through-Put as High as 
4800 bps. 

• L.E.D. Display for Call Progress Monitoring 

• On Board Speaker for Call Progress 

• NOVRAM Stores Telephone Number and 
User Defined Configuration 

• CCITT V.22 bis, V.22 Bell 212A, 103 

• Hayes® Compatible 

• 2 year Warranty 

2400e $149.95 

2400e MNP CALL 

.y 1200i Modem \ 

2400i Modem > 

2400i MNP level 5 Modem 

9600 Fax /Modem 

features: (12001 & 2400i) 

• CCITT V.22 bis, V.22, Bell 212A, 
103 Compatible 

• Runs on IBM PC, XT, AT, or 

• Runs on all Hayes Compatible 

• Full or Half Duplex; Dialup Line 

• Synchronous/ Asynchronous 

• Auto Answer/ Auto Dial 

• NOVRAM Stores Telephone 
Number and User Defined 


nooi $ 39.95 

2400i 109.95 

2400i MNP CALL 

All Our Products Are Made in USA 

We Offer Latest Technology at the Best Prices 

Volume Discounts Available 

© OEM and Private Labeling Available 


Osmos Inc. 

4151 Business Ctr. Dr. 
Fremont, CA 94538 
Phone: 415-623-1000 
FAX: 415-623-1004 

VGA/ 16 

features: (Fax Modem) 

• Internal 9600 Facsimile Modem and 
2400/1200 bps. 

• CCITT V.22 bis, V.22 V.21, Bell 103, Bell 
212A and CCITT T.30 Group 3 Compatible 

• Auto Dialing 

• Software Support for the CCITT T.30 
Encoding and Decoding of: 

□ ASCII Text Files 

□ ASCII Files in Epson Printer Format 

□ Graphic Files 

• User friendly Software 

features: (VGA/ 16) 

• Support IBM 8514 Display Resolution of 
(1024X768, 16 colors) 

• 16 bit, 8 bit Interfaces 

• Support Both TTL and ANALOG Monitors 
9 Register-Level Compatiblity with the IBM 


• Downward Register-Level Compatibily with 
All Existing Graphic Standards (EGA, CGA, 

• Drivers for Running Extended Graphics 
Mode: Autodesk AutoCAD, Digital Research 
GEM, Microsoft Windows, and Ventura 


80PC-2 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 527 on Reader Service Card 

Power of 


olmes Mi- 
crosystems gives 
_*your laptop real 
communication power through 
modular design. 

Hie Holmes Correspondent™ and 
FAX'EM™ laptop enhancement cards are 
more than just modems or fax cards. Right now, 
if you need a 1200 or 2400-baud modem, fax capa- 
bility — or both — you can have it, all on the same 
card. And when your needs change, Holmes changes 
with you. 

With a Holmes enhancement card, your laptop 
computer has the same expansion capabilities you 

demand in your desktop computer. 
And the package includes very low bit- 
error rates, superior Holmes Gold chip sets, 
9600-baud fax, and first quality, registered com- 
munication and fax software. 

Holmes is setting the standard for laptop com- 
munications now. Why not move into the future 
with confidence knowing you have the best today, 
and the power of expansion for tomorrow? 

Holmes products are available at computer 
dealers nationwide. 
Or for more 
information, contact 
Holmes direcdy. microsystems, inc. 


2620 South 900 West 

Salt Lake City, Utah 84119 / 800-443-3034 
Circle 524 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 525) 

FAX 801-975-9726 


Group Conference 

INTEREX, the interna- 
tional Hewlett-Packard 
Users Group, is holding its 
North American Users Confer- 
ence on September 1 1-14 at 
San Francisco's Civic Audito- 
rium and Brooks Hall 

Over 300 technical ses- 
sions, hardware and software 
exhibitions, special-interest 
group meetings, and vendor 
product demonstrations are 

Price: INTEREX members: 
conference, before August 18, 
$550; after August 18, $650. 
Nonmembers: $650 and $750, 
Contact: INTEREX San 
Francisco Conference, 680 

Almanor Ave., P.O. Box 
3439, Sunnyvale, CA 94088, 
(408) 738-4848. 
Inquiry 918. 

and the Global 

A conference on the role 
of information systems in 
the global economy will be 
held on October 1-4 in San 
Francisco. Called "Informa- 
tion Systems Perspectives: Af- 
fecting the Global Market," 
the conference is sponsored by 
GUIDE International, an in- 
ternational association of IBM 
computer users. 
Price: Before August 1 , 
$1295; after August 1, $1495. 
Contact: GUIDE Interna- 
tional Corp., 1 1 1 East Wacker 

Dr., Suite 600, Chicago, IL 
Inquiry 922. 

Design Engineering 

The tenth annual Design 
Engineering Show and 
Conference/West will be held 
earlier this year. Normally 
held in December, the con- 
ference will be September 
26-28 at the Los Angeles 
Convention Center. 

The conference will in- 
clude sessions on failure analy- 
sis, quality engineering, 
electronic packaging design, 
and materials for aerospace. 
Price: One session, $115; 
four sessions, $335; show 
only, $25. 
Contact: Show Manager, 

Design West, 999 Summer St. 
Stamford, CT 06905, (203) 
Inquiry 921. 




Publishing in the 1990s, 
and the science of infor- 
mation management will be 
the focus of TechDoc '89. The 
conference will take place at 
the San Jose Fairmont Hotel on 
August 23-25. 

Price: Conference fee, $745; 
tutorials, $320. 
Contact: Graphic Communi- 
cations Association, 1730 
North Lynn St., Suite 604, 
Arlington, VA 22209, (703) 
Inquiry 925. 



• Compatibility: CCITT V.22 bis, V.21, V.22 and BELL 212A/103 

• Speed conversion: 2400/1200/300 bps 

• Data throughput: 2400 bps 

• Software compatibility 

• Front panel indicator 

• One year warranty 



2700 Augustine Dr. #275 Santa Clara, CA 95054 

(408) 982-0270 

Fax: 982-0272 

80PC-4 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Circle 513 on Reader Service Card 


Hummingbird 50/60 



MODELS 70/80 

* 20 Mhz, Wait Performance 
32k Cache On- Board 
5 Minute Easy Install 

* 3270 Emulation Support 

* PS/2 MicroChannel ID Part #6A6A 




Hummingbird 4 — 
^ 3- 

™ 2- 

With 1 


• Immediate Delivery 

* 30-Day 
Money Back 


(Spreadsheet recalc.) (Reindex .DBF File) (Review Hidden Drawing) (Speed Testing) 

Application Performance on PS/2 Models 50/60 with Hummingbird. 


46231 Landing Parkway 
Fremont, CA 94538 

Phone: 415-438-9571 
FAX: 415-770-0513 

© All products ore trademark of their respective company. 


61 "C" Airport Blvd. 

So. San Francisco, CA 94080 


FAX: 415-583-1974 

TLX: 990235 


1112 West Pender Street 

Suite 102 

Vancouver, B.C. 

Canada V6E 2S1 

Tel: (604) 683-7587 

FAX: (604) 683-9210 

Circle 51 7 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 518) 

AUGUST 1989 • BYTE 80PC-5 

Circle 520 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 521) 

AlltOKey 400 programmable macro keys ! 

Simplify DOS, D-base, Lotus 1 
Boost your CAD performance. 
Automate word processing. 





>* w 




^-^ is*-* 





Mextel Corp. 159 Beeline Road 
Bensenville, Illinois 60106 

AutoKey is trademark of Mextel Corp. All other product names are 
trademarks of their respective manufacturers. ©1989 MEXTEL CORP. 

• Plugs into your keyboard line. 

• Uses no system memory. 

• Requires no software. 

• Has its own microcomputer. 

• Eliminates complicated memory 
resident macro programs such 
as SuperKey and ProKey. 

Call 1-800-888-4146 

(inside IL call 312-595-4146) 

AutoKey 40 $139.00 

AutoKey 20/20 $289.00 


The feature 
plus Fax 

ire-packed, competetively priced, B300 286 Laptop; BFAX 4-in-l Fax, Scanner, Copier and Printer 
„ Manager Software; B125 Mouse & Dr Halo III; DOS 3.3, NOW SHIPPING. . from MicroDIRECT 

Bondwell Office Automation Products 

MicroDIRECT is an Authorized Nationwide Bondwell Office Automation Products Distributor. We deliver 
exceptional product and technical support you can depend on every day, thru our 15 Regional Sales Offices, 
and 160 Service Centers Nationwide. Call MicroDIRECT today 1-800-872-4286 for the dealers near you. 

80PC-6 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Circle 522 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 523) 



If you are a BASIC programmer and 
need to improve the power and ease of 
use of your applications, BASIC 
TOOLS provides all you need in a 
single package. Enhance your 
applications with WINDOWS: display 
multiple windows and manage their 
titles, footers, contents, color, size, and 
on-screen position; also scroll and move 
them around. The INPUT EDITING 
routines included in BASIC TOOLS 
help you build powerful and easy to 
use data entry screens. The B + TREE 
file manager lets you use up to ten 
indexed files in a single program; each 
record can be accessed through as 
many as eight different keys. POP-UP 
ON-LINE HELP is implemented 
through a terminate-and-stay-resident 
(TSR) utility. Sample programs with 
source code are included and your 
applications are ROYALTY FREE. 

PC®, PS/2® or compatible; DOS 2.0 
or higher; Microsoft® BASIC 6.0, 
Microsoft Quick BASIC 4.0, BASICA®, 
or GW® BASIC. 




If you need to monitor the financial 
performance of your company or your 
client's company, COMPARE allows 
you to measure actual vs. budgeted 
results on a monthly and quarterly 
basis. Using only a few pieces of data 
taken from the financial statements, 
COMPARE helps you analyze a 
company's financial position, 
highlighting problems and 
opportunities. COMPARE provides, 
among others, balance sheet analysis, 
cash flow information, financial ratios, 
and sources and uses of cash; it 
automatically generates 23 management 
reports and 8 graphs. Additionally, the 
spreadsheet is open for you to enhance 
it if you wish. 

1-2-3® release 2.01 or higher, IBM® 
PC® or compatible. 


$59. 95 



If your need is basic business 
communications, education, or fun, 
TRANSLATE will allow you to interact 
with the Spanish speaking world. Give 
TRANSLATE a straightforward English 
text (ASCII format) and you will get a 
clean Spanish translation. TRANSLATE 
has an English/Spanish dictionary with 
more than 85,000 terms; if your needs 
call for special terminology, you may 
customize TRANSLATE with the easy 
to use dictionary update and 
maintenance editor. TRANSLATE 
comes with a user friendly interface 
which includes a split screen text 
editor, on-line help, and unknown 
terminology identification. You may 
choose interactive or deferred 
translation mode. 

XT® /AT® , PS/2 or compatible (8 Mhz. 
or higher recommended), DOS 3.0 
or higher, hard disk, and 512K RAM. 






3900 N.W. 79th. Ave., Suite 215 Miami, 
Florida 33166 

© Copyright 1989 FINALSOFT CORPORATION. All rights reserved. 

Finalsofl is a registered trademark of Finalsofl Corporation. 

IBM, PC, XT, AT, PS/2 and BASICA are registered trademarks of 

International Business Machines Corporation. 

Microsoft and CW are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 

LOTUS and 1-2-3 are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corp. 

Circle 514 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 515) 



in Florida (305)477-2703, 9-5 EDT 

Add S5.00 shipping and handling charges per 
product ordered. 



Icon Utility 

for Windows Now 

Supports EMS 4.0 

PubTech File Organizer, 
the utility that replaces 
Microsoft Windows Execu- 
tive with a display of files, di- 
rectories, disk drives, and 
printers as true icons on your 
desktop, now supports EMS 
4.0. Version 2. 1 lets you place 
application icons on the desk- 
top without loading the appli- 
cation into memory and in- 
cludes a tree-structure option 
for viewing directories. 

With File Organizer 2.1, 
you can print, delete, move, or 
copy files by pointing and 
clicking with a mouse. A Hot 
Desktop feature lets you save 
the size and location of open 
windows for future sessions. 
Other features include file un- 
delete and text search. 

Publishing Technologies 
also announced that an OS/2 
version of the program will 
ship early next year. File Or- 
ganizer for OS/2 will provide 
two-way transparency between 
DOS and OS/2 applications. 
Under the OS/2 version, a 
DOS machine will look like 
an OS/2 machine, making it 
easier to switch between the 
two operating systems. 

Another program, Multi- 
Tack, builds libraries of graph- 
ics and text that you can reuse 
in Windows-compatible appli- 
cations . It enhances the cut- 
and-paste functions of Win- 
dows by letting you copy 
from a Clipboard-compatible 
application or import com- 
patible file formats and then 
insert them into your docu- 
ments or retain them on disk. 
You can also use MultiTack 
to copy bit-mapped screen 
shots into the Clipboard. 
Publishing Technologies re- 
ports that the program will 
ship in the fourth quarter of 
this year. 

File Organizer 2.1 re- 
quires Windows 2.0, an IBM 

File Organizer 2. 1 brings icons to Windows. 

AT or higher, 512K bytes of 
RAM, and DOS 3.0. A mouse 
is strongly recommended. 
Price: File Organizer 2.1, 
$199.95; MultiTack, $149.95; 
File Organizer for OS/2, 

Contact: Publishing Tech- 
nologies, Inc., 7719 Wood 
Hollow Dr., Suite 260, Aus- 
tin, TX 78731, (800) 782-8324 
or (512) 346-2835. 
Inquiry 890. 

New Agenda 
Starter Package 

When Lotus Develop- 
ment shipped the first 
beta versions of Agenda, beta 
testers said that the program 
was difficult to learn, which 
prompted the company to re- 
vise the interface. Agenda 
1.01, the program's newest 
version, features an Activi- 
ties Planner, a prebuilt starter 
application that Lotus hopes 
will help reduce the time it 
takes to understand the per- 
sonal information manager. 
Lotus also improved the pro- 
gram' s file handling and added 
a new database recovery 

The starter application 
contains common activities 

with built-in views and exam- 
ples on how to use the applica- 
tion. The program's file han- 
dling was improved and the 
database recovery utility 
added to increase the integrity 
of Agenda files. File settings 
can maintain a working copy 
of a database that doesn't 
make changes to your actual 
database files, ensuring that 
the files won't be damaged in 
case of a power outage during 
a session. 

The recovery utility, 
called DB2STF, creates a 
structured text file from a 
database. After you run the 
utility, you create a new 
database and import the struc- 
tured file into that database. 
If you accidentally delete a file 
with an .AGB extension, 
DB2STF can recover items and 
categories, but not assign- 
ments. The utility doesn't re- 
cover .AGA files. 

Agenda 1.01 runs on the 
IBM PC with DOS 2.0 or 
higher, a hard disk drive, and 
640K bytes of RAM. Under 
OS/2, it works on the IBM 
PC AT with 1.5 megabytes of 
RAM . The file recovery util- 
ity works on both DOS ver- 
sions of Agenda and Agenda 
1.0 for OS/2, but it can run 
only under DOS. 
Price: $395. 

Contact: Lotus Development 
Corp., 55 Cambridge Pkwy., 
Cambridge, MA 02 142, 
Inquiry 893. 

Software-Only OCR 
Package for Hand 

The CAT Reader OCR 
Software package for 
hand-held scanners is a train- 
able optical-character-recogni- 
tion program that can handle 
monospaced, proportional, 
dot-matrix, and typeset 
fonts. You can operate the pro- 
gram in direct or interactive 
mode, and the program can 
handle skew (up to 10 de- 
grees), which occurs in hand 
scanners with inconsistent 

When you're scanning text 
that is 8 inches wide with a 4- 
inch-wide scanner, the pro- 
gram's automatic text-merging 
feature lets you pull the two 
columns of scanned text back 
into a single page. Mixed 
fonts or point sizes can be 
trained into one font file, and 
each file can be up to 200K 
bytes in size. 

With CAT Reader OCR 
Software 1 .52, you can use the 
Insert key as a simple editor, 
the company reports. If a char- 
acter that you're scanning has 
garbage in it (e.g. , an ink blot 
or a smudge), the Insert key 
lets you insert that character 
without forcing the program 
to learn it. You can scan left to 
right when scanning spread- 
sheets, and on-line help is 

In 200-dpi mode, the pro- 
gram handles text from 9 to 20 
points; at 300 dpi, it can han- 
dle text as small as 6 points. 
The program works on the 
IBM PC with 640K bytes of 
RAM and DOS 3.1 or 
Price: $295. 

Contact: Computer Aided 
Technology, Inc., 7411 Hines 
Place, Suite 212, Dallas, TX 
Inquiry 898. 

80PC-8 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

who brings you the world's 
first color EGA portable computer, now 
proudly present the latest addition, PL286V- 
and PL386V plasma VGA lunch-box portable. 

The FL-386V based on the 386 architecture 
.running at a speedy 25 Mhz with two build-in 
high density 3.5" and 5.25" floppy for data and 
program compatibility. Itfs standard 42MB 
hard drive retrieve and store your data at 
an astonishing speed of 28ms, 
With itsi state-of-the-art gas plasma display 
you will be seeing a full 640 x 480 bit-mapped 
16 shaded crispy clear VGA resolution; a 
buiid-inexternalVCWMultisync monitor port 
for displaying simultaneously externally all in 
a 19.5 lbs. ! 

To find out more about PL386V and other 
Bi-Link portable computer, please call 
(215) 699-6684 ext 212 

(general orders and corporate account). 
For OEM information, please call 

80286-12 wait state 
^Standard IMB/Maximum 


Expanded Memory Specification 
iEMS) '"-',. 

One 1.2MB 5.25" floppy 

One 1.44MB 3.5" floppy 

44MB hard drive 28ms 

4 AT- Expansion slots free 

One parallel two serial 

Internal Modem 

1200/2400 baud 
» Dual frequency high resolution 

9" amber monitor (MN286) 
■ 9" color EQA monitor 


External monitor port 

* Call for 386-20 machine 

1 1606 E. Washington Blvd., Ste. #A& B, Whittier, California 90606 Tel: (213) 692-5345, Fax: (213) 695-9623 

Circle 508 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 509) AUGUST 1989 • B Y T E 80PC-9 

Circle 511 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 512) 

Do You Have Questions 
On Data Communications? 

At Datasolvers, Inc. we don't expect 
you to have all the answers. In today's 
ever-changing high tech marketplace 
you simply cannot know everything 
about every thing. 

Datasolvers, Inc. along with Multi- 
Tech Systems, Inc. can, however, 
provide you right answers to your data 
communications questions. 

Whether it be a simple low-speed 

point-to-point link, or a major multi- 
plexed network, Multi-Tech Systems, 
Inc. has it all. MultiTech products, 
along with Datasolvers, Inc. designing 
expertise, equals solid, simple, cost ef- 
fective solutions for your application. 

Answers are free at Datasolvers, 
Inc. We'll even pay for the phone call. 
Call us now at 1-800-922-2329. 

cdc3Lc3£>olver£>, inc. 

906 N. Main * Suite 3 * Wichita, KS * 67203 

Computers For The Blind 

Talking computers give blind and visually impaired people access to 
electronic information. The question is how and how much? 

The answers can be found in "The Second Beginner's Guide to Personal 
Computers for the Blind and Visually Impaired" published by the National 
Braille Press- This comprehensive book contains a Buyer's Guide to talking 
microcomputers and large print display processors. More importantly it 
includes reviews, written by blind users, of software that works with speech. 

This invaluable resource book offers details on training programs in 
computer applications for the blind, and other useful information on how to 
buy and use special equipment. 

Send orders to: 

National Braille Press Inc. 

88 St. Stephen Street 

Boston, MA 02115 

(617) 266-6160 

$12,95 for braille or cassette, $14.95 for print. ($3 extra for UPS shipping) 

NBP is a nonprofit braille printing and publishing house. 

80PC-10 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


Break the 640K DOS barrier and utilize 

the Advanced Features of the UM 4.0 standard 

while using only one motherboard slot! 


• The Teletek X-Bandit was specifically designed to utilize 
the advanced features of the Lotus/Intel/Microsoft EMS 4.0 
Specification. Further, the X-Bandit's Segmented Memory 
Mapping capability allows the user to extend DOS size 
beyond the 640K barrier. It is available in both 8 and 16 bit 
versions for use in the IBM XT, AT, and compatibles. 


• Segmented Memory Mapping allows the user to fill out 
unused memory segments between 640K and 1024K. By 
"claiming" unused portions of memory in 16K increments, 
the user effectively increases TPA size. LAN or custom 
software modules, for example, can be loaded into these 
high memory areas thus relieving the lower 640K of TPA 
for other application programs. 

• Split Memory Addressing allows the user to fill out con- 
ventional memory to 640K. 

• Extended Memory Addressing is available for the PC/AT 

• 2 MB capacity in a single slot. Up to 8 MB per system. 

• Parity checking. 


• Easy menu-driven auto configuration software. 

• Device driver includes print spooler and RAM drive. 

• Supports multitasking with the appropriate shell-resident 
software package. 


• 6/8/10 MHz speed with wait states. 12 MHz speed 
with 1 wait state. 


• ©ne year parts and labor. 


Circle 528 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 529) 

4600 Pell Drive 
Sacramento, CA 95838 
(916) 920-4600 
Fax (916) 927-7684 



Platform for PCs 

PC-MIX, a multitasking 
environment for applica- 
tions running under MS- 
DOS, lets you run up to three 
programs concurrently and 
switch from one task to the 
other with two keystrokes. 
The program works on systems 
as basic as the IBM PC, but it 
works best with systems that 
support operation beyond 
640K bytes of RAM with 
EEMS memory, such as the 

Unlike DESQview, which 
divides concurrent applications 
into windows on the screen, 
PC-MIX uses a full-screen 
display with concurrent ap- 
plications operating in the 
background. Other features 
include configurable memory 
partitions, selectable task 
priorities, and true preemptive 
scheduling. If an application 
writes directly to screen mem- 
ory, PC-MIX lets it take over 
the screen and uses a batch file 
to control the other 

PC-MIX requires an IBM 
PC with 256K bytes of RAM 
and DOS 2.0 or higher. 
Price: $49.95. 
Contact: Proware, 10719 
Piano Rd., Suite 100, Dallas, 
TX 75238, (214) 349-3790. 
Inquiry 894. 

Program Helps 
Companies Stay 

For businesses that want 
to implement a drug-free 
workplace policy, such as 
those with government con- 
tracts, Clean Slate provides 
database and reporting tools 
and can generate impartial, 
randomly selected lists of em- 
ployees for drug testing. The 
program automatically gener- 
ates audit trails for employ- 

ees or a contracting agency that 
provides evidence of nondis- 
criminatory and good faith 
compliance with current 

The program also includes 
a set of policy guidelines that 
you can use to determine 
what actions your company 
should take when an em- 
ployee tests positive for one of 
five classes of drugs. You can 
also use the program with a 
processor to customize no- 
tices and certifications. Clean 
Slate is based on dBASE IV 
and includes a run-time ver- 
sion of the program. 

Clean Slate runs on the 
IBM PC with 640K bytes of 
RAM, a hard disk drive, and 
DOS 2 . 1 or higher. An update 
service is available for $195 
per year. 
Price: $695. 

Contact: Clean Slate Soft- 
ware, Inc., 1 1260 Roger Bacon 
Dr., Reston, VA 22090, 
(800) 726-3440 or (703) 
Inquiry 903. 

IBM PC with 640K bytes of 
RAM, a hard disk drive, the 
GammaFax CP board, and a 
network interface card. 
Price: GammaMail, $995; 
GammaFax CP board, $1095. 
Contact: GammaLink, 2452 
Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, 
CA 94303, (415) 856-7421. 
Inquiry 904. 

Software Lets 

3 + Mail Users Send 

Faxes Remotely 

With GammaMail, 
3Com 3 + Mail users 
can use a modem-equipped 
laptop computer to connect to 
their network and remotely 
send a fax message to any other 
fax machine. The program 
runs on the GammaFax CP, 
GammaLink's PC-to-fax 
board designed for networks. 

With the GammaFax CP, 
you can connect eight boards 
to a fax server, all sending 
and receiving at 9600 bps. The 
board also ships with version 
4.21 of its communications 
software, which GammaLink 
says is designed specifically 
for heavy network use. 

GammaMail runs on the 

Microsoft Releases 
Manager Toolkit 

To give OS/2 application 
developers references and 
tools as they need them, 
Microsoft has released the 
OS/2 Presentation Manager 
(PM) Toolkit, which develop- 
ers can buy as one package or 
in individual components. 

The toolkit includes a set 
of graphics tools for PM, 
called Softset, four OS/2 PM 
books, hypertext-based Quick- 
Help documentation, 3 mega- 
bytes of sample code, and 2 
hours of on-line support, all 
for $500. 

Softset includes dialog 
box, icon, and font editors, a 
resource compiler, and the 
book Microsoft OS/2 Program- 
ming Tools. Softset is avail- 
able for $150. 

The three volumes of the 
MS OS/2 Programmer's Refer- 
ence Library are available 
separately, priced from $19.95 
to $29.95. Programming the 
OS/2 Presentation Manager is 
also available for $29.95. 

The OS/2 PM Toolkit in- 
cludes sample code, Quick- 
Help on-line documentation, 
and the Helpmake utility, 
which lets you add additional 
on-line documentation into the 
QuickHelp system. It is avail- 
able to Softset owners for 

Contact: Microsoft Corp., 
16011 Northeast 36th Way, 
Box 97017, Redmond, WA 
98073, (800) 426-9400 or 
(206) 882-8080. 
Inquiry 900. 

New Glue Supports 
Color, Gray-Scale, 
and Hidden Notes 

The newest version of Su- 
perGlue, the print-to-disk 
utility for the Macintosh, 
now supports color and gray- 
scale. Solutions International 
calls the newest version Su- 
perGlue II with GlueNotes. 
This means that the program 
has the ability to attach hid- 
den notes and comments to any 
file that you can print. It does 
this by capturing an applica- 
tion's printer output and redi- 
recting it to a disk file. The 
program's ImageSaver II file 
does the redirecting, while 
SuperView lets you examine 
the file. 

The program lets you 
create electronic printouts 
from most Macintosh appli- 
cations, such as Excel or Page- 
Maker, so that anyone on a 
network or via telecommunica- 
tions can view a newsletter or 
spreadsheet as it would appear 
on the printer, without re- 
quiring the application that 
created the file. You can also 
save electronic printouts as a 
folder of PICT documents, 
for a slidemaker or service 

Other new features of the 
program include character 
lock, which holds a charac- 
ter's position in kerned docu- 
ments, and font lock, which 
identifies fonts by name, not 
ID number. 

SuperGlue II with Glue- 
Notes works on the Mac Plus 
or higher with 1 megabyte of 
Price: $119.95. 
Contact: Solutions Interna- 
tional, 30 Commerce St., 
Williston, VT 05495, (802) 
Inquiry 899. 

80PC-12 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 504 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 505) 


OFFICE: 10543 Progress Way, Cypress, CA 90630 U.SA. 
Tel: 714-761-4477 Fax: 714-761-4783 

Connectivity — No magic Word, just ACT! 

At A/C/T, we provide: 

— Complete Arcnet product line, such as 8-port twisted-pair or 

coaxial Active Hub, 8/1 6 bit Arcnet board, 4-port active plus 
Arcnet in one board, cable, terminator, connector, etc. 

— Affordable 10 megabits Ethernet. 

— Two-year full warranty and 30-day money back 

— Free unlimited technical support 

— Manufacturer direct pricing (call for catalogue & quotation) 

*** OEM, Distributor & Dealer inquiries invited 


EGA 14" MONITOR 640x350 $ 310 

EGA VIDEO CARD 640x350 $ 125 

386 20 MHz (1MB) 
386 20 MHz (1MB) 
386 25 MHz (4MB) 
80386 Motherboard 

$1425 (LandMark 24.6 MHz) 
$1595 (LandMark 29.6 MHz) 
$2625 (LandMark 41.7 MHz) 
$ 450/720/1250 

286 10 MHz (512K) $ 645 (LandMark 13 MHz) 

286 12 MHz (512K) $ 715 (LandMark 16 MHz) 

286 16 MHz (1M) $ 875 (LandMark 26 MHz) 

80286 Motherboard $ 195/255/395 

(All systems come with listed parts) 

Hard/Floppy Controller 


1 .2 MB Floppy Drive 

AT Type Case/Power Supply 

AT Type Keyboard 

Mono Amber Monitor 



CLOCK . . . 
RS-232 . . . 
RS-232x4. . 

10 MHz 286 Bare Bone 


12 MHz 286 Bare Bone 

$ 385 

JT Fax I internal 48 

$ 245 

JT Fax Pro96 9600/Fax, 2400/Modem 

$ 496 

provided by PC by Root. 


EGA (640x480) Auto 

VGA Plus (800x600) 

VGA Plus 16 (800x600) 

VGA Pro. (800x600) 

; 175 


; 315 

; 385 


VEGA Deluxe (640x480) 

VEGA VGA (800x600) 

FastWrite VGA (800x600) . . . 
VRAM VGA (1024x768) .... 



Multisync 2A . 
Multisync 3D. 



Flexscan 8060 H 

Flexscan 8060 S 

Flexscan 9070 S 



; 965 

Serial/PS-2 . 
Bus/PS-2 . , . 



XT-1085 71MB MFM 

XT-1140 120MB MFM 

XT-2190 160MB MFM 

XT-4170E 158MB ESDI 

XT-4380E 339MB ESDI 

XT-4170S 158MB SCSI 

XT-4380S 388MB SCSI 

XT-8760S 676MB SCSI 









KX-P4450 Laser 








WD1006V-MM1 MFM 1:1 

WD1006V-MM2 MFM 1:1 

WD1006V-SR1 RLL 1:1 

WD1006V-SR2 RLL 1:1 




1335 71MB MFM 28ms 

1355 147MB ESDI 18ms 



MR535 42MB/MFM 28ms 

.$ 395 


HH-1090 80MB MFM 28ms $ 695 

HH-1060 40MB MFM 28ms $ 435 


MIN-8450K 42MB RLL 

MIN-8051ATK 42MB w/1:1 

MIN-8450XTK 42MB W/WX1 



ST-225 20MB MFM 65ms 

ST-238 30MB RLL 65ms 

ST-251 40MB MFM 40ms 

ST-251 40MB MFM 28ms 


■ Will 


SUITE 202 
SAN JOSE, CA 95131 
TEL. (408) 435-8177 
FAX (408) 435-8179 

Store Hours 
MON-SAT 10-8 PM 


Trademarks appearing herein belong to 
their respective owners. 

Prices are subject to change without notice. 
Not responsible for typographical errors. 


Circle 526 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 80PC-13 



MOTHERBOARDS (2 Years Warranty) 








128K cache 
64K cache 
64K cache 
64K cache 
64K cache 

USM CACHE 386-25 

16 MB on motherboard 
Intel cache controller 





STEP 386/33 
STEP 386/25 
STEP 386/20 
STEP 386/16 
STEP 386is 
STEP 386/20 
STEP 286/20 
STEP 286/16 
STEP 286/12 



AMI MARK 1 1 iiliii 



For network solutions 



* System configuration at its best. * Please call for special system prices. * 



VOICE COIL * 28MS 40,000 MTBF 


42MB, MFM 
65MB, RLL 
80MB. MFM 
120MB, RLL 
120MB, ESDI 



I III llw*V~l IL-/V-* 







44MB, 25MS, MFM 
112MB, 17MS. ESDI 
157MB. 17MS. ESDI 
330MB. 16MS. ESDI 
670MB. 17MS. ESDI 



1335 71MB. 28MS. MFM 545 

1355 147MB. 17MS. ESDI 1195 

1558-15 338MB, 17MS. ESDI 1895 


ST-125 21MB, 40MS 235 

ST-138R 32MB, 40MS 275 

ST-138 32MB, 40MS 285 

ST-151 42MB, 24MS 435 

ST-157R 50MB, 40MS 395 

ST-251 42mb, 4oms Special 

ST-251-1 42mb, 28ms Special 

ST-277R 65mb, 4oms 395 

ST-4096 80MB, 28MS 545 

ST4144R 122MB. 28ms Special 



71MB, 27MS, MFM $585 

96MB 27MS. SCSI 795 


157MB, 14MS, ESDI Special 



120M8, 26MS. MFM CALL 





CDC-106MB, isms, esdi $ 995 
CDC-182MB, 18ms, esdi 1195 
CDC-385H io,7ms, scsi 2295 


Paradise VGA Plus $245 

Paradise VGA Plus 16 315 

Paradise VGA Professional 

Video 7 Fastwrite 


Video 7 VRAM 


ATI VGAWonder 


ATI VGAWonder 


Genoa 5300 


Genoa 5400 


Orchid Prodesigner 



NEC Multisync 2A $525 

NEC Multisync 3D/Plus/XL Call 
Mitsubishi D'Scan 1381 545 

w/tilt/Swivel, VGA Cable 

Sony 1302A 
w/tilt/Swivel, VGA 
Seiko CM 1430 
Zenith FTM 1490 
Goldstar VGA 
Evervision EGA 
Other Models 







• Western Digital • DTC * Adaptec • 

WD1006V-MM2 $125 DTC7280 $125 ACB2372B $185 
WD1006V-SR2 145 DTC7287 145 ACB2322B 225 






Mitsubishi MR535 44/65MB $425 
Toshiba MK134FA-I 

44/65MB 25MS 425 


Bprmam Drives $Call 

[-MEGA Bernoulli Call 
Plus Development 

Passport/Impulse Call 

Floppy drives & 
tape backups $Call 

TEAC Toshiba Archive 
Irwin Fujitsu Mountain CMS 

Laptops Printers 

Cambridge Z88 $495 Okidata 
Toshiba Panasonic 

Mitsubishi NEC 






1:1 WD1006VMM2 



512K EXP TO 4MB 




512K I 1MB 





MONO SYSTEM] 960 j 1160 1 





1:1 WD1006V MM2 





BASE] 1599 


MONO 1699 






FAX: 415-266-9134 



Prices subject to change. 

Cash prices reflected. 

Add 3% credit card. 

Add 7% to approved PO 

Return charge 15% 

80PC-14 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 530 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 531) 

Plotters for people 

who want more, 

but can't afford expensive. 

The truth is, some companies 
can buy any plotter they want. 
But most companies have to 
be concerned about budgets, 
as well as quality and per- 
formance. That's why Zericon's 
line of large format plotters 
are becoming so popular. 
They're made with exceptional 
craftsmanship utilizing 
advanced manufacturing ^j£. 
techniques right here in the 
USA. Nowyou don't need a big 
budget to afford a great plotter. 

$1695. - $2995. 

Starting at $1695 for our ValueLine™ D size, to $2995 
for our Designer series A-E model, we make a large 
format plotter that's just right for 
your application. 
Zericon plotters are 
compatible with all pop- 
ular CAD software pack- 
ages. They accept media 
sizes from 8/2 x 11" to 36 x 
48!' With .002 "repeatability, 1 
quality is assured for even the 

most demanding application. And 
where scale is important, our 
X & Y calibration feature offers 
precision for critical applications 
like PCB artwork. "Installation 
is a Breeze" because we include 
a custom configured cable 
tailored to your software and 
hardware combination. 

Call us today 

We'll send you a free sample plot, 
provide frill information about our 
entire line of large format plotters and 
outline our customer service program, 
which includes complete product satisfaction or your 
money backwithin 10 days of purchase. We'd like 
to win you over as a Zericon customer. And we've 
got the plotters to do it. Call 
us today. Zericon, Inc., 
40491 Encyclopedia 
Circle, Fremont, 
CA 94538. 
In CA (415) 490-8380. 
FAX (415) 490-3906. 

00) 727-8380 

Circle 532 on Reader Service Card 

Morepbtter. Not more money. 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 80PC-1S 



ST506 Interface • 3 1/2" Half Height 

Seagate ST125 20mb/28ms $249 

Seagate ST138 30mb/28ms 299 

Toshiba MK134FA 42mb/25ms 495 

•5 1/4" Half Height 

20mb/65ms $225 

30mb/65ms 249 

40mb/65ms 349 

42mb/28ms 445 

42mb/40ms 355 

42mb/22ms 525 

65mb/40ms 445 

74mb/28ms 895 

51/4" Full Height 

72mb/28ms $795 

80mb/28ms 599 

120mb/28ms 1,625 

120mb/25ms 1,295 

150mb/28ms 1,895 

ST506 Interface 

Seagate ST225 

Seagate ST238 

Miniscribe 3650 

Seagate ST251-1 

Seagate ST251 

Mitsubishi MR535 

Seagate ST277R 

Rodime 5090 

ST506 Interface 

Micropenis 1325 

Seagate ST4096 

Maxtor XT1140 

Newbury Data 1140 . 
Maxtor XT21 90 

SCSI Interface • 5 1/4" Full Height 

Micropolis 1373A * 85mb/28ms $995 

Newbury Data 3170S 147mb/19ms 1 ,595 

Maxtor XT3280S 244mb/16ms 1,895 

Newbury Data 3380S 320mb/19ms 2,495 

Maxtor 4380S 320mb/16ms 2,795 

Maxtor XT8760S 676mb/16ms 4,250 

SCSI Interface * 3 1/2" Half Height 

HP97500-85620 * 20mb $225 

HP97500-85600 * 20mb 225 

Rodime 652 20mb 245 

Lapine LT4000 * 40mb 295 

Connor CP340 40mb 375 

SCSI Interface * 5 1/4" Half Height 

Seagate ST225N * 20mb . 

Seagate ST251 N * 42mb , 


... 395 


3 1/2" Half Height 

Teac 720k $110 

Fujitsu/Toshiba 720k 105 

Teac 1.44mb.... 120 

Fujitsu/Toshiba 1.44mb .... 115 

5 1/4" Half Height 

YE-Data 360k $59 

Alps IBM 360k 59 

Teac FD55BR 360k 79 

TeacFD55GFR 1.2mb 115 

ATASI 3051 

42 mb • 33 ms 

10MB/85MS Hard Card *. $185 

20mb/65ms HaFd Card * 225 

20mb Tandon Hard Card 245 

30mb/65ms Hard Card 295 

48mb/36ms Hard Card 395 

1 year warranty except as noted 
* 90 day warranty 


HD/SCSI-20 $395 

HD/SCSI-30 495 j \ 

HD/SCSI-40 595 L I 

HD/SCSI-80 895 


10 mb Kit Includes Drive, Cables, 

Controller and Instructions 

Half Height $179 Full Height $159 

ESDI Interface • 5 1/4" Full Height 

Newbury Data 4175E 157mb/19ms $1,495 

Siemens 1300 310mb/25ms 2,295 

Newbury Data 4380E 320mb/19ms 2,295 

Maxtor XT4380E 320mb/16ms 2,495 

Siemens 4410 383mb/16ms 2,495 

Maxtor XT8760E 676mb/16ms 4,250 


360K Floppy w/Case & Cable 


1 .2mb Floppy w/case & Cable 



XT Cable Set 


AT Cable Set 



WD-FOX 360k/720k/1.2mb $69 

1 .44 mb Controller 79 

WD-1002-WX1 Tandy 99 


WD1003 MM2 AT 149 


XEBEC 1210 XT 10-20mb only 59 

DTC5287ATRLL 195 

Perstor/Sequel 200 Series AT (8 bit) 225 

Perstor/Sequel 200 Series AT (16 bit) 325 

Data Master 44-800 -- 3.5", 5.25", 8" floppy 79 

SCSI Controller, Future Domain TMC841 (Kit) 265 

WD1007-WA2, ESDI, AT (HD & FD) 325 

WD1007-WAH, ESDI, AT (HD) 315 

Omti 8620, ESDI Controller 295 

WD1006-SR2 1:1 Inter. HD & FD RLL 195 

WD1006-MM2 1:1 Inter. HD & FD 195 





Ampex, Atasi, CDC, CMI, Fujitsu, Hitachi, 
IBM, Lapine, Maxtor, Micropolis, Miniscribe, 
Microscience, NEC, Newbury Data, Priam, 
Quantum, Rodime, Seagate, Shugart, 
Tandon, Titan, Toshiba, Tulin and Most 
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5 1/4" FLAT RATE $45 

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Test & Evaluation 



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21011 Itasca St., #F 
Chatsworth, CA 91311 
Telephone: (818)709-6400 
Telex: 678953 
FAX: (818)341-2935 


■ Corporate , Government and School PO's welcomed. 

• Visa or Mastercard welcomed. 

■ COD, Cashier's Check or Money Order. 

• Personal Checks - Shipment after Clearance. 

• California residents must add applicable sales tax. 

■ All prices subject to change without notice. 

80PC-16 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 516 on Reader Service Card 

Short Takes 

BYTE editors ' hands-on views of new products 




Macro Mind Director 


mm m %J^*5* *^ W 

^ ££*&# - ' 





~1 V t LIBT 

A Good Thing in a Small Package? 

Th e trouble with computers 
is that they're too expen- 
sive, too big, too heavy, and 
too inconvenient. Atari thinks 
it has an answer to all those 
problems in a portable com- 
puter that's handy, light, 
small, and inexpensive. The 
big question, of course, is 
whether Atari can deliver the 
full power of an IBM PC clone 
in a computer that will fit in 
your pocket. 

The good news is that the 
size problem is licked. The 
Atari Portfolio is a hand-held 
clone that folds to about the 
size of a VCR tape— 8 by 4 by 
1 Va inches. It fit easily into my 
inside suit-coat pocket, al- 
though I wouldn't necessarily 
wanttocarry itthere all day— 
the Portfolio weighs about a 
pound with its batteries (three 
AA cells). 

So far, so good. But does it 
makethe grade as a PC clone? 

The Portfolio uses Intel's 
CMOS version of its venerable 
8088— the CPU that was in the 
original IBM PC. At 4.92 
MHz, it's slightly faster than a 
standard PC or XT but far 
slower than most clones. It 
also has less RAM and a 
slower CPU than most clones 

offer today (the Portfolio does 
have a provision for up to 640K 
bytes of RAM). 

The keyboard is the first 
and most obvious place where 
the Portfolio's downsizing 
presents a problem. It's usable 
for two-finger typists— quite 
usable, in fact. The keys are 
plastic, not the rubberized 
"chiclet" keys that some cal- 
culators use. But you won't 
have much luck touch-typing 
on this scaled-down keyboard, 
at least not without lots of prac- 
tice. I found it adequate for 
taking notes, but I wouldn't 
want to use it for more than a 
few hundred words of typing. 

The screen, like the key- 
board, is designed on a small 
scale. However, it's easily 
readable. The Portfolio emu- 

lates a monochrome display 
adapter, and although the 
display contains 240 by 64 
pixels, the system can't really 
make use of graphics (at least 
not without special driver 
software). As with the key- 
board, I found the screen to be 
quite reasonable for small, 
quick jobs— such as note tak- 
ing and quick calculations— 
but I'd hate to take on a major 
task with it. 

There will eventually be 
two ways of transferring soft- 
ware and files into the Portfo- 
lio. One way is through the 
serial port, using LapLink- 
style software. But right now, 
the Portfolio doesn't have a 
serial port. Atari says that a 
"smart cable" that attaches to 
the Portfolio's expansion port 





1196Borregas Ave. 

P.O. Box 3427 

Standard configuration: 

Sunnyvale, CA 94088 

It runs at 4.92 MHz and 

(408) 745-2000. 

has 128K bytes of RAM, 

Inquiry 1034. 

a 40-column by 8-row 

display, and a 63-key 

miniature keyboard. 

and comes out as a standard 
serial port will be available 
shortly for under $50. 

The other way of transfer- 
ring files from a desktop PC is 
by copying them onto a Portf o- 
lio memory card— a solid- 
state, removable RAM disk 
that's about the size of a credit 
card. It's the Portfolio's 
answer to disk drives. The 
memory cards slide into the 
left side of the machine and of- 
fer up to 128K bytes of RAM 
or 4 megabytes of ROM . 

I saw a beta version of a new 
application designed for the 
Portfolio, but I didn 't see any 
regular PC programs running 
on the machine. And I didn't 
see the soon-to-be-released 
memory-card drive that will 
fit into a standard PC slot, for 
transferring files back and 
forth between a desktop PC 
and the Portfolio. 

The final element of the sys- 
tem is a memory-expansion 
pack that will letyouboostthe 
Portfolio's RAM from 128K 
bytes to a full 640K bytes. 
Like the smart cables, it will 
plug into the Portfolio's ex- 
pansion port and will be essen- 
tial for using the Portfolio with 
standard PC software. Also 
like the smart cables, the 
memory expansion wasn't yet 
available when I looked at the 

I liked the Portfolio— I 
really did. But the questions I 
still have about software com- 
patibility are serious. 

The entire operating system 
is in ROM, and that may affect 
the operation of some pro- 
grams. I'd liketoknow wheth- 
er standard programs like 
Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, 
dBASE III Plus, and SideKick 
will work in the Portfolio. 
Atari claims that the built-in 
spreadsheet uses Lotus-com- 
patible files. I'd like to see that 
for myself. 

I'd also like to see what 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 81 


effect the 40-column by 8-row 
screen has on conventional 
software, and how usable the 
keyboard is with software 
that's not specifically de- 
signed for the Portfolio. I'd 
like to see how it performs 
under the BYTE benchmarks. 

Disk access should be very fast 
with the memory cards, while 
number crunching may be 
miserably slow. 

I enjoyed using the Portfo- 
lio. It's wonderfully light- 
weight and splendidly conve- 
nient. When I used it, I thought 

for the first time that I was 
using a truly portable com- 
puter—a truly personal com- 
puter. But for all its appeal, 
it's not finished yet. Right 
now, at $399, the Portfolio 
isn't a toy, but it's an expen- 
sive executive notepad and 

pocket calculator. Once it's 
complete, with the smart 
cables and memory expansion 
available, it could be the first 
PC clone that will fit in your 
pocket without emptying your 
wallet. D 

—Frank Hayes 

A Good Luggable 

If you're the kind of person 
who lugs your machine 
from home to office and back, 
you'll probably like the Al- 

The Altima One 80286 sy- 
tem has plenty of features and 
weighs in at a totable 15 
pounds. It includes a built-in 
2400-bps modem; a 20-mega- 
by te hard disk drive (soon to be 
40 megabytes); a tolerable, de- 
tachable 101 -key keyboard; a 
decent supertwist, backlit 
LCD; a CGA screen; a mouse 
(and a place to store it); and a 
good bit more. 

Things I like about this ma- 
chine include the fact that it 

has an automatic setup pro- 
gram, runs through a visible 
set of diagnostics on boot-up, 
acts more 1 ike a desktop than a 
portable, and lets you choose 
between black text on a white 
background or the reverse. I 
also appreciate that just about 
everything the company says 
will work does. 

DOS 4.0 and SideKick Plus 
come with the Altima One, 
along with a mouse. I looked at 
a preshipping version, and the 
mouse wasn't included. The 
system also comes with 1 
megabyte of RAM (expand- 
able via the addition of single 
in-line memory modules to 5 


Altima One 



DOS 4.0 and SideKick 


Standard configuration: 

It comes with 1 megabyte 

Altima Systems, Inc. 

of RAM; a 20-megabyte 

1390 Willow Pass Rd., 

hard disk drive; a 1 .4- 

Suite 1050 

megabyte 3 ! /2-inch floppy 

Concord, CA 94520 

disk drive; a supertwist, 


backlit LCD screen; 

Inquiry 1035. 

an internal modem; and 

a 101 -key keyboard. 

megabytes), 640K bytes of 
regular memory, serial and 
parallel ports, and an expan- 
sion slot for half-size 8-bit 
cards. Italsohas some built-in 
security functionality with a 
password request upon boot- 
up and runs with an average 
wait state of 0. 7 . 

I ran the BYTE benchmarks 
on the system, and it ran as 
well as I guessed. Its CPU in- 
dexis 2.02, abit faster than the 
Zenith SupersPort 286, which 
comes in at 1 .55. And the disk 
index is 1 .34, compared to the 
SupersPort's 1.06. 

Some things I didn't appre- 
ciate are the tinny-sounding 
and -feeling keyboard, the fact 
that the handle gets in the way 
while you're working, and the 
larger-than-life on-screen 
characters in color mode. 

Some kibitzers commented on 
the forbidding, robotic look of 
the machine itself, and they 
wondered out loud what this 
machine has that others simi- 
lar to it don't. My answer is 
that it's a full-featured and af- 
fordable machine that, with- 
out its external battery pack, 
you can totearound and not get 
a hernia. 

A few caveats. If your soft- 
ware doesn't work in mono- 
chrome mode, try it in color 
mode. If you have a hard time 
getting used to the configura- 
tion of a non-IBM keyboard, 
you can attach an IBM PC- 
compatible keyboard. 

Other than a few minor nit- 
picks, the machine seems to 
do what it was designed to 
do— amazing in itself. □ 

—Janet Barron 

Logitech Brings Finesse to Low-Cost Desktop Publishing 

Low-cost desktop publish- 
ing packages haven't ex- 
actly threatened the more ex- 
pensive and capable programs 
like PageMaker and Ventura 
Publisher, and they probably 
never will. But Logitech's Fi- 

nesse brings respectability 
and panache to the neighbor- 
hood of low-end page-makeup 

If you 're just getting started 
at using a PC to lay out docu- 
ments and pump text into 

them, Finesse is an excellent 
package. It runs on a pretty 
basic system, with its most ex- 
otic requirements being 640K 
bytes of RAM, a hard disk 
drive, and a CGA board. I 
worked with a beta copy of the 

program on a Compaq 286 
with a VGA display. It looked 
sharp and ran flawlessly. 

Finesse is a GEM applica- 
tion, so you work in the nice 
Digital Research environment 


82 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Embedded systems designers have already used CrossCode C in over 41 3 different applications. 

How to choose a 68000 C compiler 
for your ROMable code development 

These twelve important CrossCode C features could 
make the difference between success and failure 

It' s hard to know ahead of time what 
features you'll be needing in a 
68000 C compiler. But if you're using 
CrossCode C you won't need to think 
ahead, because CrossCode C is already 
equipped with these twelve important 
features for your ROMable code devel- 

1. A 100% ROMable Compiler: 
CrossCode C splits its output into five 
memory sections for easy placement into 
ROM or RAM at link time. 

2. Integrated C and Assembler: You 

can write your code in any combination of 
C and assembly language. 

3. Readable Assembly Language 
Output: The compiler generates assem- 
bly language code with your C language 
source code embedded as comments, so 
you can see each statement's compiled 

4. Optimized Code: CrossCode C uses 
minimum required precision when eval- 
uating expressions. It also "folds" con- 
stants at compilation time, converts 
multiplications to shifts when possible, 
and eliminates superfluous branches. 

5. Custom Optimization: You can op- 
timize compiler output for your applica- 
tion because you control the sizes of C 
types, including pointers, floats, and all 
integral types. 

6. Register Optimization: Ten regis- 
ters are reserved for your register vari- 
ables, and there's an option to automati- 
cally declare all stack variables as 
register, so you can instantly optimize 
programs that were written without 
registers in mind. 

7. C Library Source: An extensive C 
library containing over 47 C functions is 
provided in source form. 

8. No Limitations: No matter how large 
your program is, CrossCode C will com- 
pile it. There are no limits on the number 
of symbols in your program, the size of 
your input file, or the size of a C function. 

9. 68030 Support: If you're using the 
68030, CrossCode C will use its extra 
instructions and addressing modes. 

10. Floating Point Support: If you're 
using the 68881, the compiler performs 
floating point operations through the 
coprocessor, and floating point register 
variables are stored in 68881 registers. 

1 1. Position Independence: Both posi- 
tion independent code and data can be 
generated if needed. 

12. ANSI Standards: CrossCode C 

tracks the ANSI C standard, so your code 

will always be standard, too. 

There's More 
CrossCode C comes with an assembler, 
a linker, and a tool to help you prepare 
your object code for transmission to 
PROM programmers and emulators. And 
there's another special tool that gives you 
symbolic debugging support by helping 
you to prepare symbol tables for virtually 
all types of emulators. 

CrossCode C is available under MS- 
DOS f orjust $ 1 595, and it runs on all IBM 
PCs and compatibles (640K memory and 
hard disk are required). Also available 
under UNIX, XENIX, and VMS. 

CALL TODAY for more information: 


(ask for extension 2001) 
Outside the United States, please dial 

PHONE: 1-312-971-8170 
FAX: 1-312-971-8513 





CrossCode™ is a trademark of SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT 
SYSTEMS, INC. MS-DOS® is a registered trademark of 
Microsoft. UNIX® is a registered trademark of AT&T. XENIX® 
is a registered trademark of Microsoft. 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 83 





IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2, 
or compatible with at least 
640K bytes of RAM, a 
floppy disk drive and a 
hard disk drive, DOS 2.1 
or higher (3.1 required for 
Fontware), and a CGA, 
EGA, VGA, Hercules, or 
other graphics adapter; a 
mouse is recommended. 

Logitech International 


6505 Kaiser Dr. 

Fremont, C A 94555 


Inquiry 1037. 

of icons, menus, and win- 
dows. The program uses the 
technique of text frames; be- 
fore you can pour the text into 
the publication, you have to 
first set down frames— boxes 
that you draw on the page with 
the "text frame" tool. This is 
an easy operation, but it does 
require physically, rather than 

just conceptually, blocking 
out your page design before 
you start laying down text. You 
can't put a thing down on the 
page unless you put it in a 
frame. This takes some per- 
sonal adjustment if you've 
been working with a more 
flexible package like Page- 

Importing text is just a mat- 
ter of clicking on the frame 
and then on the file you want to 
paste down on the page. Fi- 
nesse will work with ASCII, 
Word, WordStar, WordPer- 
fect, 1st Word + , and GEM 
Write formats. The same f ili- 
a-frame procedure works with 
graphics; after you've drawn 
the frame, the program will 
pull in bit-map, TIFF, PCX 
(as in PC Paintbrush), and 
Metafile images. 

Getting text to go from one 
frame to another involves 
using a chaining tool. After 
you've told the program which 
columns are linked, which you 
do by clicking inside the ap- 
propriate frames, it will run 
the text into the appropriate 
columns. Finesse doesn't have 
the powerful auto-flow capa- 
bilities of more expensive 

packages, but its chaining pro- 
cedure is relatively painless if 
you 're working on a short pub- 
lication. Anything over eight 
pages could mean racking up a 
significant number of mouse- 

The copy I worked with in- 
cluded two fonts (called Dutch 
and Swiss) and came with sev- 
eral more Bitstream fonts on 
separate disks. I had trouble 
with the font installation pro- 
gram, though, and was unable 
to work with styles other than 
those embedded in the pro- 
gram. The final version, 
which the company expects to 
have ready by now, will come 
with several more typefaces, a 
collection of clip art, and a few 
prefab document styles, a 
Logitech spokesperson said. 

Finesse has the basic tools 
you need to put together a bro- 
chure, newsletter, or other 
short document. 

Screen redrawing seemed 
pretty slow, though, so laying 
out a long publication could be 
tedious. However, Logitech 
has added some shortcuts that 
are very handy and speed up 
some text-manipulation oper- 
ations. For example, you can 

raise or lower the size of se- 
lected text with a simple key 
combination: Alt-4 kicks the 
text up to the next point size, 
and Alt-3 brings it down 
again. These and other short- 
cuts are a nice touch. 

I wish the developer would 
add the capability of working 
on a page when you're looking 
at it in "full-page" mode, 
though. As it is now, you can 
work on a document only 
when you've got it in "actual 
size" view, which unfortu- 
nately means you can see only 
that part of the page that fits on 
the screen. Setting a headline 
that runs across the page 
means you have to scroll back 
and forth or toggle between 
actual and full-size modes. 

Despite a few limitations, 
Finesse is a fine program for 
producing short documents. If 
you've neverusedapublishing 
package and you don't want to 
climb a steep learning curve, 
this is the software for you. Fi- 
nesse is easy to use, works 
well, and will run on most 
low-end PCs. It's not Page- 
Maker, but it's not trying to 
be. □ 

— D. Barker 

Let the Mac Entertain You 

Will affordable multime- 
dia production capabili- 
ties be the most important 
breakthrough in computing 
during the 1990s? After work- 
ing with MacroMind's new 
product, MacroMind Direc- 
tor, I'm beginning to think 
that this might be the case. 
MacroMind Director does in- 
deed make video production, 
complete with animation and 
sound, accessible to anybody 
who has a Macintosh. 

MacroMind Director is a 
greatly improved and en- 
hanced version of Video- 
Works, which has been the 
company's primary product 
since its inception in 1984. 
According to the product liter- 
ature, over 100 new features 
are found in MacroMind 

Some important features 

include automatic animation, 
a new color paint program, 
new music and sound capabili- 
ties (including MIDI control), 
and a greatly improved user 
interface with on-line help. A 
HyperCard driver, which lets 

MacroMind Director se- 
quences be included in Hyper- 
Card stacks, should be avail- 
able soon. 

Although you can get 

started in a few hours, Macro- 



MacroMind Director 


Mac with 1 megabyte of 
RAM; a hard disk drive 
is recommended. 


MacroMind Director, 
Interactive ($300, available 
later this year; includes 
advanced HyperTalk-like 
procedural language and 
production utilities). 

MacroMind, Inc. 


Suite 408 

San Francisco, CA 94107 


Inquiry 1036. 

84 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Until now there was oily one way 
to integrate C and Assembler. 

While C and Assembler give you power 
to bum, switching back and forth between them 
can leave your brain feeling a little fried. 

All that stopping. And starting. And con- 
stantly retracing your steps. 

Well, relax. Now there's Microsoft 
QuickAssembler. Available with our clever 
QuickC 8 Compiler in one location: the first inte- 
grated environment for C and Assembler. 

For the first time, you can save time with 
an integrated editor, compiler, assembler and 
debugger that let you create C programs, mixed 
C andAssembler programs, or Assembler pro- 
grams that stand alone. 

lb make sure you feel at home in your 
new environment, we've designed Microsoft 
Quick Advisor, a hypertext electronic manual 
that coaches, coaxes and guides you on screen. 

Quick Advisor gives you access to information 
on all ROM BIOS and MS-DOS®calls. And it 
even lets you cut and paste sample programs, 
so you can make both C and 
Assembler subroutines part 
of your routine in no time. 

For more details on 
the incredible integrated 
power of QuickAssembler 
and QuickC Compiler, call 
(800) 426-9400. If you own 
QuickC Compiler version 2.0 already, well tell 
you how to add on QuickAssembler quick. 

And take a load off your mind. 


Making it all make sense: 

Customers inside the 50 United States, call (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call (416) 673-7638. Outeide the U.S. andGinada call (206) 882-866 1. © Copyright 1989 Micmsoit Corporation. All righte reserved. Microsoft, the 
Microsoft logo, MSDOS and QuickC are registered trademarks and Making it all make sense is a tradeniiirk of Microsoft Corporation. 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 85 

Circle 163 on Reader Service Card 

while yoi 
type! / 


• Remains In Place while you use your computer. 

• Avoids Costly Repairs. Protects delicate electronics 
from dust, spills, smoke, ashes, staples. 

• Soft, Flexible, retains normal keyboard feel. 

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• Hundreds of Models. SafeSkln Is available for most 
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• Office • Home • Factory • Classroom • Laboratory 

List Price $ 29.95. Please call or write for free color 
brochure. Dealer Inquiries encouraged. 


Merritt Computer Products, Inc. 5565 Red Bird Center Drive 

Suite 150, Dallas, Texas 75234/(214) 339-0753 • FAX (214| 339-1313 

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Requires Dos 2.0 or higher UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T 

Mind Director is not a trivial 
program. You'll need to ex- 
pend some time and effort to 
learn and master its capa- 

The program consists of 
two parts: the Overview and 
the Studio. The Overview is 
basically a slide sorter with a 
control panel similar to that of 
a VCR. In the Overview sec- 
tion, you create individual 
frames or visual images that 
you can later combine into a 
"movie" using the Studio sec- 
tion of the program. Sup- 
ported file formats include 
Scrapbook, PICT, PICS, 
MacPaint, Glue, and sound 
files from sound-sampling 
programs like MacRecorder. 
You can overlay images, ani- 
mated sequences, and sounds 
in a single frame. 

In the Studio section, you 
create the animated sequence 
of frames with the appropriate 
timing. The main workpiece 
in the Studio is the Score, 
which is similar to a spread- 
sheet in appearance. The rows 
represent separate frame se- 
quences or channels, of which 
there can be up to 24. Each 
channel can contain any of the 
multimedia components (e.g., 
sound, graphics, or text), 
which you select from a Cast 
consisting of the library of 
images you created or im- 
ported using the Overview 

The columns represent 
time. Therefore, multiple 
channels can appear simulta- 
neously in the score. You can 
time the starting points and 
endpoints of each channel in- 
dividually, so you can develop 
complex video sequences. 
Video sequences can also be 
controlled with the mouse but- 
ton, if you're giving a talk si- 
multaneously and want to 
click the mouse button to ad- 
vance the frame sequence. 

While MacroMind Direc- 
tor runs on all Macs with 1 
megabyte of memory, it runs 
best on a Mac II, particularly 
since you then have 256 colors 
to work with. You can have 
separate color palettes for 
each frame, allowing much 
flexibility with the choice of 

colors. You can get gray-scale 
imaging on a Mac SE, how- 
ever. And performance is 
roughly the same on a Mac 
Plus or SE and on a Mac II. 
This is because the Mac Plus 
and SE don't have to worry 
about processing all the 8-bit 
color information. 

Whether you use a Mac 
Plus/SE or a Mac II, getting 
into serious video production 
and presentation is not a minor 
investment. Aside from the 
computer and the software, 
you'll need a large screen to 
display the video. If you want 
to use scanned images, you'll 
need a scanner. If you want to 
output video to a VCR, you'll 
need a genlocking card that 
can convert the digital RGB 
output to the analog National 
Television System Committee 
format required by TVs and 

For a company or an educa- 
tional institution, the expense 
for all this equipment makes 
sense. And there's no question 
that it costs thousands of dol- 
lars less than the traditional 
equipment required for video 

However, for the hobbyist 
or casual user, full video-pro- 
duction capabilities require a 
pretty deep pocketbook. And 
although using MacroMind 
Director on the 9-inch screen 
of your Mac SE may prove to 
be entertaining, you can't 
really do presentations for 
other people on such a small 

On the other hand, Macro- 
Mind Director is a serious pro- 
duction tool for professionals 
who need its presentation ca- 
pabilities. After a few hoursof 
working through the tutorials, 
you can put together animated 
presentations, combining bul- 
leted text charts, graphs, 
music or voice sounds, graph- 
ics images, and, if you have the 
equipment, scanned images or 
video sequences from a VCR. 
Overall, I think MacroMind 
Director is well designed and 
can be of great benefit and util- 
ity in all forms of visual 
communication. □ 

—Nick Bar an 

86 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

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1455 LeMay Drive 
Carrollton, TX 75007 

2 14) 446-7363 


FAX: (2 14) 446-901 1 TELEX: 1 40275 OMEGA 

Circle 185 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 87 

Circle 37 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 38) 


Three Serious Tools 

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SunFlex Software 


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IBM PC or compatible 

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with 512K bytes of RAM, 

Inquiry 1038. 

DOS 2.1 or higher, 


a hard disk drive. 

In the years since SideKick 
first appeared, many com- 
petitors have come and gone. 
So I have to admire companies 
that have the spunk to tilt at 
Borland's madly spinning 
windmill. A new contender is 
SunFlex Software, with a 
product called MultiPlus. 

MultiPlus is yet another in 
the seemingly interminable 
line of desktop management 
packages. It has the usual as- 
sortment of SideKick-like 
features, including a word 
processor, a calendar and ap- 
pointment scheduler, an ad- 
dress database and telephone 
dialer, and more. But I found 
MultiPlus an oddly eccentric 
package, filled with both nice 
touches and some maddening 

All of its myriad files took 
up nearly a megabyte of disk 
space, so I couldn't use it with 
my floppy-disk-only laptop 
computer. It is possible to save 
disk space by eliminating one 
or more of MultiPlus' s indi- 
vidual modules, and the core 

RAM-resident module takes 
up just 10K bytes of RAM. 

The word processor is full- 
featured, not just a notepad 
like SideKick's. And the five 
special-purpose calculators in 
MultiPlus are way ahead of 
Borland's. But the calendar/ 
appointment maker has what 
I consider an unforgivable 
problem: There' s no alarm op- 
tion to remind you of an ap- 
pointment. Then there's the 
address database and phone 
dialer. It does the job, but 
there's no telecommunica- 
tions option. 

SunFlex is pushing Multi- 
Plus's built-in vaccine feature 
to set it apart from SideKick. 
But I think vaccine programs 
are a fad, good only for the 
truly paranoid and those who 
rely on public domain soft- 
ware. All in all, I give Multi- 
Plus a B for effort, but there 
are too many rough edges. Al- 
though SideKick Plus sells for 
twice as much as MultiPlus, 
I'll stay with Borland. ■ 

—Stan Miastkowski 

88 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 314 on Reader Service Card 


For your free Dell product catalog, write us. Or 
call 800-426-5150. In Canada, call 800-387-5752. 

Title: _ 






Phone (Daytime): 

Type of Business: 

DP lease have a Dell representative call me. 

386 and 386SX are trademarks of Intel Corporati.n. ©1989 DELL COMPUTER 


1 . Which products are you most 
interested in? 
A □ 286-based systems 
B D 386SX'-hased systems 
C D 3 8 6' -based systems 
□ Other 

2. How many PCs do you (your 
company) plan to purchase in 
the next year? 

3. Is your requirement: 
A □ Immediate 

B □ 1-3 Months 
C □ 3-6 Months 
D □ 6-12 Months 
E □ Over 12 Months 
F □ Infoonly 

. Are you a (select one): 
A □ End user 
B D Consultant 
C □ Reseller 
D □ Corporate Purchaser 
E □ DP/MIS Purchaser 
F □ Government P urchaser 
□ Other 

. How many PCs do you have 
installed now? 






Dell Computer Corporation 

Dept. ME 

9505 Arboretum Boulevard 

Austin, Texas 78759-9969 







When you buy a 
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FOR DELL IN CANADA, CALL 800-387-5752. 

©1989 Dell Computer Corporation. 386 is a trademark of Intel Corporation. ^Service in remote locations will incur additional travel charges. 

Circle 80 on Reader Service Card 



The Ever-Shrinking, 

Agilis and Zenith announce tiny computers that 

t seems that the smaller laptop 
JLPCs get, the more desirable they 
become. A fully functional XT 
compatible that travels as well as a 
hardcover novel is a powerful 
business tool. Furthermore, smaller 
form factors provide the opportunity 
for computers to enter interesting 
and unique new markets. 

This month, we look at the 
Zenith MinisPort (page 94) and 
Agilis System (page 91) computers. 
The Zenith is a laptop in the truest 
sense of the word and very 
portable— a businessman's dream. 
Although the Agilis could serve as a 
laptop, it incorporates the latest 
technology to produce an 
expandable hand-held system 
intended for use in remote 
locations. These machines represent 
both evolutionary and revolutionary 
trends in laptop technology. 

90 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 


Enjoy BYTE magazine's in-depth information on 
the latest in personal computing each month at 
special introductory rate! 

Subscribe now and save $17 off the newsstand price 
—12 issues for $24.95 instead of $42. 00... and $5.00 
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,l„l„l, l,„l, III,,. I.I. ..Llll.. ,1,1... .11.1 

Ever-Expanding Laptops 

broaden the market for laptops 

Agilis Hand-Held Workstations: 
Computing Power in the Field 

Nick Baran 

In recent First Impres- 
sions, I've focused on 
computers that break 
new ground in price ver- 
sus performance. I now have 
the opportunity to look at a 
machine that breaks new 
ground in size versus perfor- 
mance—the Agilis System 
hand-held workstation. In its 
top-of-the-line configuration, 
the Agilis System is a com- 
plete 80386 machine about 
the size of a notebook, about 
3 inches thick and weighing 
8 pounds. A lower-perfor- 
mance 80C88 version can 
weigh as little as 4 pounds. 

The Agilis System is not 
just another laptop. It is de- 
signed for use outside the of- 
fice and in harsh environments requiring 
mobility but also networking and remote 
communications capabilities. You can 
operate it with one hand using a touch- 
screen interface. And you can use it on a 
wireless Ethernet network with a range 
of up to 1 kilometer. 

In the last 10 years, the personal com- 
puter has dramatically changed and im- 
proved the way we work in the office. But 
a major part of the work force has been 
left out of the computer revolution— 
namely, those who work away from the 
office or "in the field." These workers 
include maintenance and service person- 

Nick Baran is a BYTE senior technical 
editor based in San Francisco. He can be 
reached on BIX as "nickbaran." 

A notebook-size 80386 system showing the console slice, 
keypad slice, battery packs, and PrairieTek hard disk drive. 

nel, sales representatives, workers on the 
factory floor or at test sites, public safety 
workers, building and utilities inspec- 
tors, military personnel, and many 

Computers in the field could eliminate 
the paperwork associated with sched- 
ules, maps, diagnostic procedures and 
manuals, inventory, and telemetry, to 
name a few. And, if the computers in the 
field are connected to a network, they 
can communicate with other computers, 
such as file servers at the home office. 

Although laptop computers offer some 
of the features needed for field work, 
they have major limitations: They are too 
large to operate comfortably while stand- 
ing up; they have limited battery power 
and are dependent on wall-outlet power 

sources; and they have limited 
networking capability and are 
not designed for harsh envi- 

Any Way You Slice It 

Created by former GRiD, 
3Com, and NeXT engineers, 
the Agilis System is designed 
specifically for use in the 
field. Based on the Intel pro- 
cessor line, the Agilis System 
takes advantage of the latest 
advances in miniaturization 
and high-density electronic 
packaging. It is built on the 
concept of modular slices, 
each slice providing a compo- 
nent of the system, such as the 
CPU component or "proces- 
sor slice," a communications 
slice, a data-storage slice, and a battery- 
power slice. 

Made from ruggedized plastic, each 
slice is about one-third the size of a sheet 
of paper (8% by 3% by 1 inch). Each slice 
can connect front-to-back or top-to-bot- 
tom to another slice by means of the 
AgileConnect interface, which consists 
of an 802.3 Ethernet network interface 
operating at 10 megabits per second and 
a power distribution interface. The 
Ethernet and power paths are integrated 
into a single 34-pin connector built into 
every slice. 

Power can come from nickel-cadmium 
battery packs, converters for standard 
1 10-volt or 220-V alternating current, 
and 12-V automotive or 28-V military 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 91 


Photo 1: The 

components of the 
80C 88 processor 
slice. Note that the 
entire 80C88 
system fits into 
a slice about the 
size of one-third of 
a piece of paper. 
The logic board 
shows a 5 UK- 
byte memory card 
inserted in the 
memory card slot. 
The 80C88 
system boards 
feature surface- 
components and 
are mounted back- 
to-back. The 
primary chip set is 
manufactured by 
Western Digital. 

Photo 2: The 

80C88 with the 
console slice and 
a battery pack. 
This configuration 
constitutes a 
complete touch- 
computer. Note 
the programmable 
function keys 
around the 
perimeter of the 
flat-panel display. 

Photo 3: The 

internals of the 
80386 Agilis 
System. The 
underside of the 
board has a bay 
for a 20- 

megabyte 2 l /i -inch 
PrairieTek hard 
disk drive. The 
primary chip set 
is manufactured 
by Headland 
Technology. Note 
the serial and 
parallel ports at 
the lower edge. 

direct current. The Agilis System soft- 
ware includes utilities for monitoring 
power consumption and battery life. 

One of the important breakthroughs of 
the Agilis System is its efficient power 
distribution throughout the system. The 
Ethernet/power bus passes through each 
slice and includes a transceiver with a 
circuit that detects packets on the net- 
work and powers up the circuit automati- 
cally. When the circuit is idle, the trans- 
ceiver is turned off. This design greatly 
minimizes the power requirements for 
network communications. The system 
software also includes utilities that auto- 
matically shut down the hard disk drive 
and the backlit display after a specified 
period of inactivity. 

The AgileConnect interface includes a 
miniaturized, but fully functional, AT 
and XT bus interface. The 8-bit XT bus 
interface is contained in a 68-pin U- 
block connector. The 80386 processor 
slice includes an additional 34-pin con- 
nector, which extends the bus interface 
to the 16-bit AT standard. Slices con- 
nected end-to-end simply latch together, 
directly mating the male/female Agile- 
Connect connectors. Slices placed top- 
to-bottom use a U-block connector to 
make the interface connection. 

The Agilis System is designed for use 
outdoors or in dusty or damp indoor 
environments. It is reasonably water- 
proof and dustproof and can handle 
rough use. The limiting factors on its 
durability are the glass of the flat-panel 
display and the PrairieTek hard disk 
drive, if installed. 

The heart of the Agilis System is the 
processor slice, which comes in 9.54-MHz 
80C88 and 20-MHz 80386 versions. The 
80C88 processor slice consists of two 6- 
by 2-inch logic boards mounted back-to- 
back in a single slice. The 80C88 system 
comes standard with 640K bytes of RAM 
andacardslotfora removable 5 12K-byte 
memory (RAM/ROM) card. Note in 
photo 1 that the RAM/ROM card is in- 
serted into the slot on the logic board. It 
is the main storage and boot device for 
the 80C88 system. However, you can 
also plug a standard floppy disk drive 
slice into the 80C88 processor slice. 

The 80C88 processor board uses a 
Western Digital chip set that supports 
both 4.77- and 9.54-MHz clock speeds 
and standard XT-compatible direct 
memory access and interrupt control, 
keyboard input control, and memory 
management for up to 640K bytes. The 
board includes an RS-232C connector 
and an external keyboard connector, as 
well as the standard XT-bus and Ether- 
net/power connectors. The complete 

92 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


80C88 slice requires only about 4 watts 
of power. 

The 80C88 also includes 128K bytes 
of flash, electrically alterable ROM, 
which you can use to load MS-DOS or 
custom applications into ROM. In this 
way, you can use the 80C88 slice as an 
embedded processor or for custom touch- 
screen applications. In fact, Agilis ex- 
pects that a very common configuration 
of the 80C88 processor will simply in- 
clude a battery slice and the touchscreen 
console slice (see photo 2). This config- 
uration weighs about 4 pounds. 

The console slice is one of the most 
interesting features of the Agilis System. 
It's actually the size of two single slices 
and features a backlit, 6-inch diagonal 
flat-panel display (built by Kyocera) that 
supports EGA gray-scale and bit- 
mapped graphics with 640- by 480-pixel 
resolution. The console slice has an in- 
frared sensor for use with attached or de- 
tached keypads. And most important, 
the console slice has a built-in processor 
that supports touchscreen operation, in- 
cluding mouse and keyboard emulation. 

The touchscreen lets you press on the 
screen and activate a command. You can 
also use your finger to move the mouse 
cursor. You can program the function 
keys on the perimeter of the touchscreen 
to execute macros, or you can simply use 
them as DOS function keys. The keys 
along the bottom row of the display con- 
sole control cursor movement and the 
Enter function. 

While the touchscreen interface 
works, it needs applications specifically 
designed to take advantage of it. With the 
programmable console keys, numerous 
possibilities exist for field-specific ap- 
plications that maximize the use of the 
touchscreen. A reflective display slice 
without touchscreen capability is also 

The top-of-the-line system is based on 
the 20-MHz 80386 processor (see photo 
3). The 80386 system includes a bay for a 
20-megabyte 2^2 -inch PrairieTek hard 
disk drive. The 80386 processor slice is 
actually the size of four single slices. 
With the PrairieTek hard disk drive, the 
80386 system requires only about 9 W of 
power. The 80386 slice includes two 
serial ports, a parallel port, and the Eth- 
ernet/power and AT-bus interfaces. The 
80386 board uses a G-2 chip set that fea- 
tures 360-pin surface-mount technology. 
The 80386 system is available with 1, 4, 
or 8 megabytes of memory. 

Other Options 

The beauty of the Agilis System is that 
the slice technology lets you configure it 

in numerous ways, depending on your re- 
quirements. In fact, Agilis intends to 
license its AgileConnect interface to 
third-party manufacturers who want to 
build optional slices for the Agilis Sys- 
tem. At this writing, Agilis has com- 
pleted battery slices, a wireless packet- 
radio communications slice, and a floppy 
disk drive slice. Agilis is also developing 
a general-purpose expansion slice that 
will support standard XT and AT half- 
length expansion cards, such as internal 
modems or external video adapters. 

Of particular interest is the wireless 
packet-radio communications slice. It of- 
fers 230,000-bps network communica- 
tions within a range of 1 kilometer out- 
doors and about 100 meters indoors. The 


he Agilis 
System doesn 't compete 
directly with standard 
PC and laptop prices. 

packet radio operates in the spread spec- 
trum frequency range of 902 to 928 MHz 
and supports up to 16 channels. The 
communications slice requires about 15 
W when it is transmitting packets but is 
automatically powered down to 2 W 
when idle. The communications slice is 
the size of two single slices. I did not see 
the communications slice demonstrated. 

System Software 

The Agilis System comes with either 
MS-DOS 3.3 or Interactive Unix V.3.2. 
DOS comes either on a floppy disk or on 
the 512K-byte RAM card for the 80C88 
system. Unix is available on a floppy 
disk. Both operating systems come with 
additional system configuration utilities 
and system programs. 

The additional software includes a 
System setup panel, which you can con- 
figure at system start-up to enable or dis- 
able certain components in the system, 
such as the serial ports or extended mem- 
ory (in the 80386 version). A Power 
Management panel lets you specify 
whether you want video or audio low-bat- 
tery warnings, and whether you want the 
system, hard disk drives, or Ethernet 
controller shut off when they are idle. 
You can also specify the threshold volt- 
age at which the low-battery warning 

should come on. 

The system software includes the 
Agilis Action Point utilities. The utilities 
contain configuration files for specify- 
ing mouse or keyboard emulation and for 
programming the console keys. Another 
utility installs DOS or other applications 
in the 128K bytes of flash ROM in the 
80C88 slice. An extension to the DOS 
FORMAT command is included for for- 
matting the 512K-byte RAM cards used 
in the 80C88 slice. 

Configurations and Prices 

Because of the durability and density of 
the electronic packaging, Agilis compo- 
nents are not inexpensive. The Agilis 
System does not compete directly with 
standard PC and laptop prices and is not 
intended to compete in the traditional 
desktop or laptop market. 

A typical high-end system would 
consist of an 80386 processor, 4 mega- 
bytes of memory, a 20-megabyte hard 
disk drive, the console slice, a keypad 
slice, two battery slices, and a power 
converter. Such a system would cost just 
over $12,000. An intermediate system 
might simply be an 80386-based 3 + 
mail server (with 3Com's 3+ network 
E-mail software installed on the hard 
disk drive), which would consist of an 
80386 slice with a hard disk drive and a 
power supply. This setup with 1 mega- 
byte of RAM would cost about $6600. 

At the other end of the spectrum, an 
80C88 system with the touchscreen con- 
sole slice, the 512K-byte RAM card, a 
battery slice, and a power converter 
would cost about $5000. 

Hands On 

I had an opportunity to try out an early 
prototype version of the 80C88 slice with 
the touchscreen console. The system was 
running Microsoft Windows, a paint ap- 
plication, and a CAD drawing display ap- 
plication called FastView, all installed 
on the 512K-byte RAM card. This sys- 
tem was small and light enough that I 
could stand and cradle the system on my 
left arm and operate it with my right 
hand. Using the console's function keys, 
I could make changes to the Setup Panel 
and to the Power Management config- 
uration. I ran the FastView application 
and loaded a CAD drawing on the screen. 
Using the console keys, I could Pan and 
Zoom on areas of the drawing. 

To make a long story short, the system 
works. However, the system I tested 
needed some improvements in the dis- 
play backlighting and the touchscreen 
sensitivity. It was hard to see the mouse 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 93 


cursor as I dragged it across the screen, 
and I had to keep adjusting my viewing 
angle so that I could view the screen. 
Agilis engineers assured me that com- 
mercial versions of the touchscreen 
would have the necessary improvements. 
I also tried assembling and disassem- 
bling various slices. I was impressed 
with the quality and solid engineering of 
the components. Each slice has guide 
rails, which make assembly of slices 
literally a snap. Once assembled, the 
slices are locked together with spring- 

loaded tabs on each side. 

The real promise of the Agilis System 
hinges on the development of innovative 
software that can take advantage of the 
system's touchscreen and networking ca- 
pabilities. While clearly not designed for 
the everyday user, the machine could 
have enormous utility in all kinds of field 
operations. According to Agilis's mar- 
keting director, Bert Keely, the machine 
has generated the greatest interest from 
automotive and airplane manufacturers, 
who intend to use the hand-held worksta- 

tion for diagnostics and data retrieval for 
mechanics and test engineers. 

I am impressed with the innovative en- 
gineering of the Agilis System. While I 
did not get a chance to work with a final 
production version of either the 80C88 or 
80386 system, the preliminary compo- 
nents appear to be well designed and 
manufactured. I also saw preliminary 
versions of the documentation, which is 
thorough and well written. The Agilis 
System points the way to new advances in 
portable computing. □ 

The Littlest Zenith 

Michael E. Nadeau 

Looking at many of the 
so-called "laptop" 
computers makes you 
wonder how they got 
the name. Though portable, 
few of them are practical for 
computing on the go, even if 
they do fit comfortably on 
your lap. Having a computer 
that you can easily pick up 
and move to another location 
is one thing; using it during 
transit is another. 

My ideal laptop would fit 
into a briefcase with room to 
spare and weigh under 5 
pounds. Its screen would be 
easily readable in poor light- 
ing; its nonvolatile memory 
would be large enough to store 
program and data files. The 
battery life would be at least 4 
hours. A 2400-bps modem 
would be a must, as would be 
ports for an external monitor, 
a floppy disk drive, and a 
printer. The keyboard would be respon- 
sive and intelligently designed. The lap- 
top would also have a painless means of 
porting programs and data files to and 
from my desktop PC. And it would have 
all this for under $1000. 

No such critter exists, butthe Zenith's 
new MinisPort comes closer than any 
other laptop, with the exception of the 
NEC UltraLite (see the review "The 
Painlessly Portable PC" by Mark L. Van 

Michael E. Nadeau is the associate man- 
aging editor of the reviews section of 
BYTE. He can be reached on BIX as 
"miken. " 

The Zenith MinisPort. The configuration shows the 2-u 
720K-byte floppy disks. 

Name and Bill Catchings on page 161). 
At around $2400 (Zenith had not set 
final prices at press time), the MinisPort 
beats the $3000 4Vfc-pound UltraLite on 
price, but at 12V2 by 9% by 1 % inches and 
6 pounds, the MinisPort narrowly loses 
to it in the size and weight categories. 
Minor faults aside, the MinisPort should 
be a desirable entry in the little-laptop 

BYTE's preproduction evaluation unit 
came with the standard 1 megabyte of 
surface-mount RAM, up to 368K bytes 
of which can be configured as a nonvola- 
tile RAM disk, EMS memory, or a com- 
bination of both. You can configure a 1- 

megabyte upgrade option 
($799) as either additional 
RAM disk space or EMS 
memory. DOS 3.3 resides in 
360K bytes of ROM, along 
with Rupp Corp.'s FastLynx 
file transfer program. 

The MinisPort's 80C88 
CMOS CPU is switchable be- 
tween 4.77 MHz and 8 MHz 
via the keyboard or software. 
It has a Centronics-type par- 
allel port and an RS-232C 
serial port with a DB-9 con- 
nector. The external video 
port supports both CGA-type 
RGB-intensity TTL-level and 
composite monochrome out- 
put. The fourth port is for an 
external floppy disk drive. A 
tiny slot is also available for a 
Saltine-size 1200-bps modem 
card ($299), which was un- 
available at this writing. The 
MinisPort's screen is a back- 
lit, supertwist, 640- by 200- 
pixel LCD. 

A unique feature of the MinisPort is its 
double-sided, double-density, 720K-byte 
2-inch floppy disk drive, the first of its 
kind to be used in a laptop or any other 
kind of personal computer. The floppy 
disk drive and disks look like scaled- 
down 3!/2-inch versions. An external 
3!/2-inch floppy disk drive is a $299 

Look and Feel 

Somewhat larger than a kid's Etch-A- 
Sketch, the MinisPort is easily totable. 
Two of them would fit snugly into my 


94 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 



Flipping up the screen reveals a typi- 
cal laptop keyboard arrangement. The 
function keys are on the top row, and a 
numerical keypad is embedded within 
the alphanumeric keys on the right and 
accessed via the Fn key. Zenith commit- 
ted no "mortal sins" in designing the 
keyboard; the only idiosyncrasy is the 
placement of the left single quotation 
mark (') and backslash ( \ ) keys in the 
column farthest to the right. Since you 
don't use these keys frequently, their po- 
sition is a minor inconvenience. 

The keyboard feel is firm and respon- 
sive. I quickly became comfortable typ- 
ing on the MinisPort. Functions called 
by the Fn and Alt keys are color-coded— 
a nice touch. Although the MinisPort is 
smaller than nearly all other MS-DOS 
laptops, the keyboard didn't feel 

The LCD display, while not state-of- 
the-art, is adequate for most situations. 
Working in a dimly lit room, I had a little 
trouble picking out the underline cursor 
in a screenful of text. You can adjust the 
contrast and brightness via slide controls 
at the bottom of the screen, and you can 
position the screen from 90- to 180- 
degree angles. The 8V2- by 3U-inch 
viewing area exhibits some horizontal 
distortion of graphics images typically 
associated with such displays. 

The 12-V battery is lighter than most 
and slides in and out easily from the left 
side of the case. It's rated for 3 hours, al- 
though I got only 1 hour and 45 minutes 
on a full charge (which takes 10 hours). 
Extra battery packs are $79 each. The 
MinisPort warns of imminent shutdown 
with a flashing red LED indicator and in- 
termittent beeps. According to the docu- 
mentation, I got shorter battery life be- 
cause I had the screen backlighting on 
and several ports enabled. A Zenith 
spokesperson said that up to 5 hours on a 
charge is possible, although not guaran- 
teed, if you don't use the LCD back- 

All ports are easily accessible at the 
rear, and the modem line is on the left 
side next to the battery. A handle swings 
out at the front. The MinisPort has all the 
usual LED indicators, plus ones for the 
silicon disk drive (SDD) and padlock. 

Many businesses and users fret over 
losing their laptops to theft. The Mini- 
sPort has a unique "security bracket" to 
prevent theft. This steel bar slides out 
from the right rear of the case and has a 
hole for a padlock. Attempts to break off 
the bar destroy the computer, since it is 
attached directly to the motherboard. A 
determined thief could saw through this 
bar, but it wouldn't be easy. 


Zenith provides a multifunction monitor 
program, MFM-180, which lets you set 
operating parameters, examine and ma- 
nipulate areas of memory and register 
contents, test system components, set 
video commands, and change the boot 

Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Insert gets you to 
the MFM-180 -> prompt. From there, 
you can access the monitor's utilities. 
Most users will need only the Setup pro- 
gram, which establishes operating pa- 
rameters. The Setup menu lets you set 
the time and date, CPU speed, video 
display, backlight time-out, and boot 
drive. You also can enable or disable the 
ports and RAM disk backup, and you 
can allocate RAM to either the RAM 
disk or EMS memory. 


larger than a kid's 
Etch-A-Sketch, the 
MinisPort is totable. 

The Setup program also lets you estab- 
lish password protection against unau- 
thorized use of your MinisPort. You can 
also change fonts; your choices are 
Norwegian, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, 
and the default, U.S. /English. This fea- 
ture was not implemented on the BYTE 

Data Come, Data Go, Data Stay 

Manipulating data and program files on 
a laptop can be a problem. Zenith pro- 
vides several ways of running application 
software and transferring software to 
and from a desktop PC . 

You have three ways to get software 
and data into the MinisPort: You can 
beam it over via the serial port using 
FastLynx; send it over a null-modem 
cable using a communications program; 
or use the petite, new 2-inch floppy disks 
in conjunction with an external V/i- or 
5 !4 -inch floppy disk drive attached to the 
MinisPort or an external 2-inch floppy 
disk drive ($349) attached to your desk- 
top PC. Zenith will offer an extra-cost 
starter kit that includes a slipcover, the 
cable for FastLynx, and 10 2-inch floppy 
disks. The kit's price was not set at press 

Most users will want an external drive 
on either the MinisPort or their desktop 
PC. No commercial software is available 
in the 2-inch format, and a Zenith 
spokesperson said that the company sees 
these floppy disks only as a means of 
transferring programs and data files. 
Panasonic and Sony, however, produce 
the 2-inch media. It is similar to media 
used in digital cameras. Zenith had no 
pricing information on the disks. 

While nonstandard mediahas its prob- 
lems—potential availability problems, 
higher cost, lack of commercial soft- 
ware—conventional formats would sim- 
ply not work in laptops as small as the 
MinisPort. The drive hardware would 
add too much weight and bulk. Zenith 
obviously hopes that the 2-inch media 
will become standard for laptops of the 
MinisPort class. 

Once you have your files in the Mini- 
sPort, you can use them from either the 
floppy disk or the SDD (drive D) in 
RAM. True to its billing, drive D does 
behave like a very fast hard disk drive, 
although a small one. I could not run all 
the BYTE disk I/O benchmarks because 
some require a megabyte of disk space to 
run. The DOS seek tests, however, 
showed a time of 3.90 seconds for a sec- 
tor read and 18.22 seconds for a 32-sec- 
tor read. The IBM PC AT times were 
14.95 and 65.18 seconds, respectively. 

A pair of lithium batteries provides up 
to three days of backup power to the 
RAM memory, so you won't lose data in 
drive D when the main battery goes dead 
or when you change it. You can turn off 
the battery backup option from the Setup 

The downside is that the 368K bytes 
available as an SDD in the 1 -megabyte 
model is just not enough to run most 
meaningful applications. PFS Profes- 
sional Write barely fits if you leave the 
spelling checker behind, and you can 
forget Xy Write. The extra megabyte 
available for the SDD in the 2-megabyte 
model is a necessity. 

Performance per Pound 

With its 80C88 CPU, you wouldn't ex- 
pect blistering performance from the 
MinisPort, and the BYTE CPU index of 
0.38 bears this out. This rating makes 
the little Zenith either a fast XT or a slow 
AT, depending on how you look at it. 

The applications that anyone is likely 
to use on a computer like the MinisPort 
don't require a quick CPU. Word pro- 
cessing, communications, and light in- 
formation management will be the major 
applications for the small laptops. I saw 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 95 

Circle 87 on Reader Service Card 

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• Award or Phoenix Bios 

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On A Single Card 
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Also Available: 

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• Rackmounts 

• much more 

fg" Diversified 
Ui Technology 

112 E. State St. • Rklgeland, MS 39158 
J (601)856-4121 


Designed and Manufactured by DTI in the USA 

3088,286, 386SX, 386 are tradenames of Inrel Corp. 
/XT, /At, IBM are tradenames of IBM Corp. 
Award is a tradename of Award Inc. 
Phoenix is a tradename of Phoenix Inc. 

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no noticeable difference in these areas 
between the MinisPort and my 10-MHz 
80286 AT clone. Besides, the speedy 
SDD tends to compensate for perfor- 
mance penalties that the CPU imposes. 

MinisPort vs. UltraLite 

The laptop most comparable to the Mini- 
sPort is NEC's UltraLite. Aside from the 
differences mentioned earlier, the two 
most significant areas that set these ma- 
chines apart are performance and stor- 
age media. 

NEC put its own 9.83-MHz V30 CPU 
in the UltraLite, and, consequently, its 
BYTE CPU index is higher at 0.93. Both 
machines simulate a hard disk drive in 
RAM, so disk-access times are similar, 
although the UltraLite's minimum SDD 
size is 1 megabyte. The MinisPort seems 
to have an edge in battery life, and its 
battery is user-replaceable, whereas the 
UltraLite's isn't. 

Zenith went with something familiar 
when it chose the 2-inch floppy disk 
drive as the removable storage media. 
NEC chose battery-backed 256K-byte 
RAM and ROM cards. Both approaches 
seem to work well, although NEC's is 
more expensive: The cards cost $299 
each. Both vendors must assure potential 
buyers of reliable supplies of each medi- 
um, since they are new. 

The Mini Future 

I like the MinisPort. I travel frequently 
and would welcome its company. Corpo- 
rate America seems hungry for smaller, 
fully functional DOS laptops. The Mini- 
sPort fills that need, at least for those 
who can afford its price. 

It could be better. A 2400-bps modem 
would be nice (Zenith says one is in the 
works), as would a better screen, more 
RAM for the SDD, a longer-lived bat- 
tery, and a price tag to match its size. It 
should also lose a little weight. These im- 
provements will come as laptop technol- 
ogy advances. In the meantime, the Mini- 
sPort makes a good travel companion. ■ 


Agilis Corp. 

1101 San Antonio Rd. 
Mountain View, CA 94043 
(415) 962-9400 
Inquiry 885. 

Zenith Data Systems 

1000 Milwaukee Ave. 
Glenview, IL 60025 
(800) 842-9000 
Inquiry 886. 

96 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 23 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 24) 



■14 '"^C^-kQ, _ 

si^nw » 

ys,s •* «;,r>^ 30 


It goes 
with the 

If your territory is field engineer- 
ing, the GRiD portable computer can 
make your work more productive. 

GRiD laptops make it easy for 
you to analyze data on-site for fast 
error i dentification, correction 
and reporting. You can retrieve 
information from remote databases 
while in the field, and share 
information via electronic mail. 

GRiD laptops are lightweight, 
battery-powered and ruggedly built. 
The GRiDCase 1535 EXP has two, 
full -sized expansion slots, to let 
you plug in the board you need 
for communications and storage 
expansion. And the 1535's 386 
processor gives you fast processing 
for complex calculations. 

We help you find the right soft- 
ware too, whether it's an existing 
DOS or UNIX program, or custom- 
ized package. We also offer after- 
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Why? Because at GRiD, we think 
that goes with the territory. 

Give us a call at 800-222-GRiD. 

First in Field Systems 

Circle 294 on Reader Sendee Card 

GRiD Systems Corporation 

472 J 1 Lakeview Blvd., Fremont, CA 94537 


Things aren't always 
what they seem. 

Like our Design View/1 600 system 

A system that Publish magazine called "a real 
knockout with the finest text display you'll find 
on any monitor — Mac or PC. " 

With all the features it has, it certainly looks like a pretty 
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Features like an impressive 1,600 x 1280 resolution. 
That's 109 x 121 pixels per inch! 

■ 200-MHz performance. To give you a steady and 
easy-to-read display, the Design View/1600 has the highest 

data rate in its class - 200 MHz. And the high, 67 Hz screen 
refresh rate gives you a picture that's flicker-free and easy on 
your eyes. 

■ Two pages at a time. With two full-sized pages on a 
19-inch landscape display, the Design View/1600 makes 

scrolling a thing of the past. That means it's faster and easier 
to create newsletters or magazines, ad or manuals, financial 
reports, books, and virtually anything else because the 
Design View/1600 lets you see exactly what you'll print. 

■ Sharper fonts and images with grayscale. The 

Design View/1600 optional levels of gray enhance details 
that might go unnoticed on other displays. And delivers the 
sharpest image available on the market. We even bundle four 
proprietary gray-level DesignFonts (Times Roman, Helvetica, 
Symbol, and Courier) in a variety of sizes so you can see - and 
read - everything accurately before you print. 

■ The highest resolution for a PC. The 1600 x 1280 
pixel resolution of the Design View/1600 display lets you 

read fine print (as small as 5-point type) while seeing two 
whole pages. This is the same resolution as the Sun-4 
workstation monitor. The extraordinary display quality, 
combined with a clean, stable, flicker-free picture means your 
images are razor sharp, your alignments are perfect, and your 
drawings are pin-point precise. We even provide high 
resolution screen fonts so what you see is exactly what you get. 

■ Work with your existing software. The 

Design View/1600 display system offers extensive software 
driver support for most major applications, including Microsoft 
Windows 386 and 286, Aldus PageMaker, Microsoft Excel, 
Adobe Dlustrator, CorelDraw, Designer, GEM, Ventura 
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emulation ensures that existing applications will run without 

The Design View/1600 offers many more features, yet it isn't 
as costly as it sounds. This excellent display costs 
hundred of dollars less than our nearest competitor! 

98 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

We guarantee your complete satisfaction by offering... 

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■ The best warranty on the market. Our display 
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■ 60 days money back guarantee. If you are not 

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The Design View/1600 is part of our extensive family of 
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color, monochrome and gray-scale systems. 

In fact, the monitor you've got in mind is 
probably in our warehouse right now! 

To get a better picture, call our toll free number for a copy 
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Dealers Inquiries Welcome. 

Elite Microsystems, Inc. 

4201 Remo Crescent - Bensalem, PA 19020 - USA 
Tel. (215) 639-1636 Fax: (215) 639-3420 

Circle 92 on Reader Service Card 


Jerry Pournelle 

The Great 
Power Spike 

When the lights go out 
at Chaos Manor, 
it's a serious matter 

Jim Ransom, my deputy chairman 
of the Advisory Council on Na- 
tional Space Policy, had just fin- 
ished some updates to the SSX 
(Space Ship Experimental) briefing to go 
to the Defense Council, and we'd shut 
down the Mac IIx. We'd been using 
Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation 
software to make some changes to the 
briefing. Although there are other 
powerful programs, such as More II, I 
don't find all Macintosh software quite 
so easy to learn as it's generally adver- 
tised; when you've learned the quirks of 
a program that's good enough, it's some- 
times best to stick with what you have. 
We started our spaceship briefings with 
PowerPoint, and we've never had enough 
time to learn anything else. 

Anyway, we used the Mac IIx soft- 
ware shutdown procedure. When you do 
that on my Mac, a voice shouts, "Bring 
out yer dead!" after which the screen 
goes dark. We'd been using the Apple 
Scanner, which is attached to the Mac 
IIx, and the CD-ROM reader, but we'd 
taken no particular steps to shut those 
down. We'd also been using the Laser- 
Writer IINTX, and we didn't turn it off. 

I'd just poured a pair of brandies to 
celebrate the work we'd done when the 
lights went out. 

Actually, it was worse than that. Not 
only did the lights go out, but they in- 
stantly came back on for a brief moment, 
and this time there were sparks and. 
bright flashes all over the room. A light 
bulb exploded. There were more flashes 
outside. Then quiet, and darkness. 

The only light was from the screen of 
the Northgate 386. It had been connected 
to a Clary PC- 1.25k Onguard PC unin- 

terruptible power supply; and while 
other stuff fried, the UPS-protected 
Northgate didn't even glitch. 

We got down the wall flashlights— I 
keep flashlights in my desk, but the main 
emergency light sources are Black & 
Decker Spotlighters connected to wall 
recharger units, two upstairs and two 
down— and went around turning off all 
the computers just in case the power 
came back on. By that time the high- 
pitched "No Power, Boss!" warning sig- 
nal from the UPS was getting to me, so I 
shut down the Northgate— it had never 
noticed that anyone had a problem— and 
turned off the Clary UPS. We still had 
telephones, and I thought of plugging Big 
Cheetah and the modem into the UPS 
and getting on-line to BIX, but I didn't do 
it. We waited a few minutes, but it be- 
came obvious that the lights weren't 
coming back on, so we finished our bran- 
dy, Jim went home, and Roberta and I 
went to bed. 

I woke about 4:00 a.m. to discover that 
some of the lights in the house were on, 
but some weren't and wouldn't go on. A 
main 30-amp fuse was blown, and when 
I replaced it the replacement blew in- 
stantly. I thought about what could do 
that and half-concluded that a power 
spike had shorted out the refrigerator. 
After all, Roberta had just that day re- 
placed its vegetable crisper at a cost of 
$135 and a lot of her time; why not? But 
there was nothing to be done at 4:00 a.m. 

Come morning we horsed the refriger- 
ator out of its alcove, discovering about 2 
inches of greasy dirt underneath— it's 
very difficult to pull the fridge out, and 
evidently we hadn't done it for several 
years— and unplugged it. Then we went 
through the house looking for anything 
else that might be plugged in— and lo! , in 
Roberta's office, there was an Isobar 
Power Isolator and Surge Protector. Her 
Kaypro 386 and Mannesmann Tally 
laser printer had been plugged into it. 
When I disconnected the Isobar from the 
wall, something inside it rattled. 

We replaced the main fuses. No prob- 
lem. Then we cautiously plugged in the 
refrigerator. It started up fine. I took the 
Isobar upstairs and used a multimeter to 
discover there was a dead short from the 
hot side of the plug to ground. No wonder 
it blew fuses. 

After that, it was a matter of testing. 

The first casualties were in the back 
room. My son Richard had been playing 
Earl Weaver Baseball on the Tandon 286 
when the lights went out. Alas, the Tan- 
don was plugged directly into the wall, 
no surge suppressor, and it was dead. So 
were the family room VCR and TV, both 
of which had been on when things hap- 

Next were light bulbs. Fluorescents 
were all right, but every incandescent 
light bulb that had been on was dead. 

"Some power failure," I said. Roberta 
called the Department of Water and 
Power to see what had happened. The 
chap who answered said it had been 
amusing to listen to the stories at first, 
but now it sounded like one big whine: 
everyone had lost equipment. Some chap 
had managed to drive his car into a 
power pole, which fell, taking out a 
transformer. He offered to give us the 
telephone number of the poor fellow's in- 
surance company. 

In discussions with Joanne Dow 
("jdow," the Amiga wizardess on BIX) 
and her friend Alan ("arog" on BIX), we 
decided that a 16K-volt AC line had 
dropped across one side of the 220-volt 
lines that supply the houses in my neigh- 
borhood. The result was one heck of a 
power surge. 

So. Now we knew what happened. 
Next thing was to assess the damage. 

First, Roberta's machine, printer, and 
USRobotics external modem, which had 
been plugged into the now dead-shorted 
Isobar, worked fine. When we took the 
Isobar apart, we discovered that every 
choke coil was discolored and several of 
the metal-oxide varistors (MOVs) had 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 99 


literally melted. My son Alex looked at it 
and clucked his tongue. "It died that 
others might live," he said. I've still got 
the Isobar; one of these days we'll bury it 
with military honors. 

It deserves it. I bought that gadget back 
in 1977 at the behest of Dan MacLean, 
who insisted that all electronic equip- 
ment ought to have surge protection. 
Clearly he was right; alas, after he died I 
became slothful and neglected some of 
the gear. I sure wish I hadn't. 

My upstairs suite in Chaos Manor has 
its own electrical supply box with circuit 
breakers rather than fuses. I found that 
three breakers had tripped. When I reset 
them, I noticed that my incandescent 
lights were gone, but the fluorescents 
were all right, and so was the pump for 
the tropical fish tank. 

When I turned on the Clary UPS, 
there was no whine; it had power. The 
Northgate 386 connected to it was fine, 


Design the computer in. 

Little Board 7286 

Built-in vs. built around. External systems mean 
boxes, boards, backplanes, cables, and reliability prob- 
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Big Cheetah, my main machine, had 
been plugged into a Compuguard surge 
suppressor that I bought from Priority 
One. That unit also supplied power to my 
USRobotics modem, a Maximum Stor- 
age APX-3200 WORM (write once, read 
many times) drive, an Amdek Laser- 
drive CD-ROM reader, and an Electro- 
home 19-inch high-resolution monitor. I 
had turned off the switch on the Compu- 
guard while the lights were out; now I 
held my breath and turned it back on. 

Big Cheetah came up fine. So did all 
his auxiliary equipment. No damage. 

Next was the Macintosh, which was 
plugged into a Woods surge suppressor. 
The Mac had been shut down when the 
spike hit, and it came up with no prob- 
lem. All its peripherals, such as the scan- 
ner, worked properly, too. Alas, not so 
the Priam SCSI 330-megabyte MacDisk, 
which was also plugged into the Woods 
suppressor and had been left on after the 
Mac was shut down. Inspection revealed 
that the Priam's 2-amp automobile-style 
cartridge fuse had blown so violently that 
there was metal plated all over the inside 
of the glass cylinder. Replacement of the 
fuse did no good. The Woods suppressor 
might as well not have been there. 

In a panic I called Alex. After all, he's 
in the business of recovering data from 
zapped hard disks. He came right over. 
'Tower supply, probably," he said, and 
proceeded to cannibalize the power sup- 
ply from a spare external WORM drive 
box. In minutes he had the Priam up and 
running. It looks a bit odd in the old 
WORM box, but it works fine. Priam is 
getting us a new power supply, and I can 
still report that we've yet to lose a single 
byte of data from a Priam hard disk. 

Then there was the Apple LaserWriter 
IINTX: dead as a doornail. I sure hope 
it's just the power supply. There's no 
fuse visible. Apple is sending me a re- 
placement. Meanwhile, in the two days 
since we lost it, I've found just how much 
I do with it: not novels and articles, but 
letterheads, everything with graphics, 
and alotof other stuff. I'll sure be glad to 
get it running again. 

Anyway, to cut the story short: the 
power surge killed every unit of electron- 
ic equipment that was turned on and not 
plugged into a surge suppressor. It also 
burned out nine incandescent light bulbs 
and literally exploded two others; and it 
killed three surge suppressors, one of 
which, the Isobar, failed in a dead short, 
while two others (brand name unknown) 
simply died— they didn't blow fuses, but 
they no longer let power through at all. 
One of those protected the VCR and TV 


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that I keep up here in my part of Chaos 
Manor. Recall that the unprotected fam- 
ily TV and VCR were killed, so that was 
cheap enough protection. 

Meanwhile, there was quite a lot of 
equipment plugged into Compuguard 
surge suppressors I had bought on sale 
from Priority One. Not one unit of any 
kind protected by a Compuguard was 
harmed in any way. 

Joanne Dow and her friend Alan, 
who's a county building inspector and 

knows about building electrical systems, 
tell me I had better replace all the surge 
suppressors that lived through The Great 
Power Spike. The MOVs in those units 
may have been damaged in the process of 
protecting the equipment, and there's no 
simple way to test them. Of course, I can 
buy MOVs from Radio Shack for a buck 
or so each, and if I were so inclined I 
could pry apart all those Compuguard 
units and solder in new MOVs; but the 
fact is that I'm not going to do that. I do 


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wish I had a simple way to test the surge 
suppressors— after all, I'm about to re- 
place 10 of them at about $30 each, and it 
would be nice to know whether the ex- 
pense is really needful— but in fact it's 
fairly cheap insurance. 

Alan also tells me I had better replace 
all three of the circuit breakers that 
tripped. They undoubtedly arced over, 
and their ability to protect my circuits is 
now very much in question. 

The morals of this story are simple: if 
you don't have surge suppressors on all 
your electronic equipment, including 
stereos, VCRs, and TVs, as well as your 
computers, then you're gambling. Look, 
here in southern California we almost 
never get real lightning storms. The Los 
Angeles Department of Water and 
Power, and Southern California Edison 
(which supplies power to the parts of the 
county outside the city), are very reli- 
able, seldom have power failures, and 
nearly never have power spikes. My elec- 
tric power is probably as clean and reli- 
able as you'd find anywhere in the world. 

So what? No one is safe from weird ac- 
cidents like automobiles crashing into 
power poles. I now have to replace some 
$300 worth of surge suppressors, pay an- 
other $350 for repairs to equipment that 
wasn't protected, and we're without our 
TV and VCR for a week. The alternative 
is worse; it could have cost a lot more. 

If your work is at all valuable, get a 
UPS. Not just any old UPS, but one rated 
powerful enough to keep your equipment 
going. Be sure to look into the power 
surge protection capabilities. 

I don't know if power surges will dam- 
age a UPS. The Clary people are sending 
me a new unit to swap for the one I have; 
they want to see what it looks like inside 
after taking a hit like that. I'll let you 
know next month. Meanwhile, I've 
tested this one about 10 times by simply 
yanking the plug while the Northgate 
386 was doing a big copy operation from 
floppy disk to hard disk. About half those 
tests were done after the Big Power 
Surge. Nothing at all happened during 
any test; the Northgate went right on 
about its business, totally unaware that 
someone was messing with its power. 
I've also tested the WORM drive on the 
UPS with the same result. 

I have become a believer. From now 
on, all electronic equipment in Chaos 
Manor will have surge protection, and 
any computer doing a vital job will have a 
UPS. I do wonder why surge protection 
isn't routinely built into power supplies. 
The parts cost only a couple of dollars. 

I sure don't have any trouble rating the 


102 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 186 on Reader Service Card 






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Lucy Retires 

Back in 1981 when the IBM PC first 
came out, I thought I ought to buy one. It 
took me a while, because I really hated 
the original PC keyboard, and I couldn't 
make up my mind between monochrome 
and color; but eventually we went to our 
local Computerland and bought one. 
Alex named it Lucy Van Pelt because it 
was such a fussbudget. We've since up- 
graded the machine with a genuine Her- 
cules graphics card, an AST extended 
memory board with on-board clock, a 
DataDesk keyboard, a larger power sup- 
ply, new ROMs, an AST hard disk card, 
and a bunch of other stuff. After 1985 
she became the test-bed for add-on 
boards, gadgets, and gilhickies, and in 
1986 she was relegated to the back room, 
where she's been used by my editorial as- 
sistant Frank Gasperik to keep the corre- 
spondence database. 

The original IBM PC design was con- 
servative, not state-of-the-art, but maybe 
that's just as well. I have to say that Lucy 
Van Pelt, though a fussbudget, has served 

me well. She never developed a glitch we 
couldn't fix, and in over six years there 
have been darned few days of downtime. 
Still, she is old and slow. For weeks I've 
threatened to replace her, and this week I 
got around to doing it. There remained 
the problem of extracting some 15 mega- 
bytes of files from Lucy's hard disk. 

The way we used to do that was to drop 
in a CompuPro ARCnet PC Board and 
fire up ARCnet. Alas, the Golem, our 
CompuPro ARCnet file server, is still up 
at Bill Godbout's emporium in Hayward, 
where he's getting an 80386 board and 
other goodies. Since there weren't all 
that many files to transfer, we could have 
used LapLink, but there was one prob- 
lem: the generic AT that will replace 
Lucy doesn't have a serial port on the 
motherboard, and I couldn't find a spare 
board that has one. Scratch that solution. 

Artisoft's LANtastic was the next 
thing to try. I installed a LANtastic 
board in Lucy and connected that to 
Frank's new AT. Everything seemed 
fine, except that I couldn't log onto the 
network. I called Artisoft and got their 
technical support troops on-line. Still no 
go. Apparently, no one at Artisoft head- 

quarters ever met anyone as old as Lucy. 

Eventually we solved the problem by 
setting Lucy up next to the Zenith 386. 
The Zenith has the Maximum Storage 
APX-4200 (400 megabytes per side) 
WORM drive. We needed to make a 
backup of Lucy's data files— I'm 
ashamed to say how long it's been since 
we did the last one— and a WORM car- 
tridge is ideal for that, since data stored 
on that is safe for half of eternity. I used 
LapLink to transfer all of Lucy Van 
Pelt's files to the Zenith's WORM. 

This is mildly trickier than you think. 
The Maximum Storage WORM drive 
looks to DOS just like any other drive, 
but when you start using file transfer 
software, there seems to be some confu- 
sion about subdirectories. For example, I 
created a subdirectory called LUCY on 
the WORM, logged onto that, and told 
LapLink to copy everything, including 

It did that; but instead of copying those 
files into the WORM subdirectory 
LUCY, it went back up to the WORM'S 
ROOT directory each time it created a 
subdirectory. So, when I was done, in- 
stead of having all the PC's files as 

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branches of the subdirectory LUCY, I 
ended up with that subdirectory com- 
pletely empty and new subdirectories 
created at the root level of the WORM 
drive. If this seems confusing, don't 
worry about it; I mention it for the bene- 
fit of readers who have a WORM and use 
LapLink to transfer large blocks of files. 
It works all right, and all the subdirector- 
ies are created and copied, but the struc- 
ture isn't quite what you think it will be. 

Once that was done, I got LANtastic 
going on both the Zenith and the new ge- 
neric AT that replaces Lucy, and discov- 
ered another quirk. 

LANtastic recognizes WORM drives, 
but not from a remote. That is, when I 
accessed the Zenith from the AT and at- 
tempted to read the Zenith's WORM 
drive, instead of a real directory I got 
something very strange, a series of 
"Temporary" files, all empty. By then it 
was too late to call Artisoft. 

However, when I went to the Zenith 
and logged onto the WORM drive, I had 
no trouble accessing both the WORM and 
the remote AT; so it was simple and fast 
to copy all of Lucy's old files from the 
Zenith WORM to the new generic AT 

machine. I've just finished doing that. 

LANtastic has a way for you to tell the 
network software that the drive you're 
trying to access is a CD-ROM; it may be 
that I should have told it to treat the 
WORM as if it were a CD-ROM. In any 
event, I got the job done. It was no more 
inconvenient to control the AT from the 
Zenith than it would have been the other 
way around, and that worked fine. I 
could send from the WORM drive to a re- 
mote unit. Even with that problem, 
LANtastic remains one of the best and 
easiest-to-use networks I know of. 

Lucy's not quite old enough to join old 
Zeke at the Smithsonian, and indeed 
she's got a few years of useful life left in 
her, so I'll donate her to a good cause. 
Farewell, thou good and faithful ser- 
vant. . . . 

The Curator 

We have another new machine here, the 
Mac Ilex, which is a cut-down version of 
the Mac IIx; it has a small footprint at the 
cost of having three fewer slots. I haven't 
time to do it justice now, but I like it a lot. 
The Mac is a machine that generates 
strong emotions; at least it sure does in 

me. I alternately get mad at it and then 
decide I can't live without it. One thing is 
certain, though: you can sure get soft- 
ware for a Mac that other systems haven't 
even thought of. Case in point: The Cu- 
rator. This program is so neat it's hard to 

The Macintosh lets you collect pic- 
tures, and I've accumulated a lot of them. 
(It doesn't hurt that I have a Priam 330- 
megabyte MacDisk; pictures take up a lot 
of disk space.) One picture source was 
Clickart from T/Maker, the publishers of 
WriteNow (a word processor that in my 
judgment is preferable to MacWrite). 
Clickart will give you just about every- 
thing you could want: religious symbols, 
from crucifixes to Nativity scenes; busi- 
ness images; famous people; presidents; 
outlines of the states; you name it, they 
probably have it. I also have pictures and 
diagrams I've scanned i\; maps I've 
drawn to illustrate my books; charts and 
graphics files we've made as part of the 
SSX briefings; and just a whole bunch of 
stuff like that. 

These illustrations are scattered all 
over my Priam disk. Of course that's 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 105 


better than having them stored on a mil- 
lion floppy disks, but it's still hard to 
keep track of them, since they tend to 
drift downward into folders held inside 
other folders, and I never remember the 
names I've assigned. Searching for a 
particular image used to take a long time, 
and sometimes I didn't bother. 

That's all changed now. The Curator 
takes care of them. This program cata- 
logs and characterizes Macintosh graph- 
ics files. What you do is set it up and then 
invoke a program called The Curator's 
Assistant. This program hunts through 
your hard disk (or through a collection of 
floppy disks if that's what you have) and 
finds everything that it thinks might be 
in a graphics file format: PNTG, PICT, 
SIMA, EPSF, EPSP, TIFF, and Post- 
Script TEXT. It can't manage some of 
the proprietary formats, but if you can 
manage to save in one of the Big Seven 
Standard formats listed above, you're in 
business. The Assistant will find them, 
look at them, and draw a small icon 
pretty well representative of the graphi- 
cal content. Now you can browse through 
those icons and see which graphics file 
you want. Curator will find graphics 

files, convert from one format to an- 
other, help you with printing, and in 
general act as an intelligent curator for 
your art files. 

It ain't perfect. It doesn't understand 
gray scales. The Curator's Assistant 
doesn't tell you when it's done searching 
your hard disk; it just stops and leaves it 
to you to figure out that it's finished. 
There are some other glitches. 

No matter. This is one of those pro- 
grams you will soon find you can't do 
without. Nowadays when I want to find 
my graphics files, I call up the Curator 
and let it do the work. I sure wish I had 
something like this for a PC-DOS ma- 
chine. Recommended. 

Culture 1.0 

This program is subtitled "The Hyper- 
media Guide to Western Civilization," 
and it's a time trap. What this program 
modestly attempts is to present the entire 
history of the world on seven disks (about 
5 megabytes) of HyperCard stacks. 
There are some 1750 cards organized 
into 21 cultural grids that show what's 
going on in different countries at the 
same time, and about 200 graphics 

images of works of art like Michelange- 
lo's David and sketches of Lorenzo the 
Magnificent. Alas, there are no maps, 
which seems a rather odd omission. 

It's difficult to evaluate something of 
this size. One blurb says that this pro- 
gram will "convert the Macintosh into 
an educational workstation." I'd agree 
with that. Totally. This would be a heck 
of a tool to use in preparing for examina- 
tions. I'll go further. For anyone moti- 
vated to learn history— whether out of 
simple curiosity or the desire to get a 
good grade— this is an invaluable re- 

Alas, it may not provide its own moti- 
vations. There are a number of essays, 
and they're all written in HyperCard 
style: terse, with maximum opportunity 
to show other buttons in boldface. That's 
the problem. Writing in HyperCardese 
isn't conducive to being interesting. 
There's little of the wit of Jacques Bar- 
zun, or the intriguing style of Fletcher 
Pratt. There are no grand sentences from 
Macaulay. The authors of Culture are 
clearly admirers of Jacob Burkhardt and 
rightly identify him as the discoverer of 
the importance of the Renaissance, but 

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they don't quote him. 

There are organizational holes. Much 
of the material is in superficial form. 
There's a lot more on music and architec- 
ture than literature. Dante Alighieri gets 
one terse line in addition to his name and 
dates: "Divine Comedy, 1321, one of the 
first works in Italian (Tuscan dialect.)" 
You'd think he deserved more. Machia- 
velli is represented by a single possessive 
that reminds you that he was the author of 
The Prince but says very little else. 

Although the program doesn't tell 
anything about Benvenuto Cellini— he 
gets the single word "autobiography"— it 
does have a bunch of gratuitous com- 
ments. We're told that Lord Acton, an 
English historian, had Savonarola, an 
Italian Renaissance religious reformer, 
in mind in his dictum "Power tends to 
corrupt. Absolute power corrupts abso- 
lutely," and that Oliver Cromwell should 
have studied the case of Savonarola. Now 
I'm a closet Royalist myself, but perhaps 
there ought to be a hint that there are dif- 
ferences of opinion about Cromwell. The 
historian Macaulay could say "Cromwell 
was no more; and those who had fled be- 
fore him were forced to content them- 
selves with the miserable satisfaction of 
digging up, hanging, quartering, and 
burning the remains of the greatest 
prince that has ever ruled England." 
Culture says, "After the Restoration of 
the monarchy he was disinterred and 
hung up on a gallows in 1661." I think I 
prefer Macaulay. Alas, Macaulay him- 
self gets only one line. 

In other words, Culture is sketchy. 

It doesn't work as well as you'd like, 
either. The search feature is impossible. 
You can look for key words, but when it 
finds the first instance, the program 
stops looking. There's probably a way to 
make it go on to the next instance, but if 
there is, the instructions don't tell you, or 
worse, they tell you to do something that 
doesn't work. All of which is a pity, be- 
cause Culture is a magnificent attempt at 
a project worth doing. It would take a 
CD-ROM to do it right. Perhaps some- 
one will make one. 

Until then, Culture will turn your Mac 
into an educational workstation, but 
you'll have to bring your own motivation. 


The shareware of the month (a new fea- 
ture I just instituted) is Wordfind, a pro- 
gram to help you solve word puzzles, 
crosswords, acrostics, cryptograms, and 
other word games. It's available from 
Castle Oaks Computer Services and runs 
on just about any MS-DOS machine. It's 



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Clary PC-1.25k 

Hard disk data recovery 

Priam SCSI 330-megabyte 



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MacDisk for the Mac II 

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Starter kit 


Remote Keyboard 


for PC $69.95-$ 129.95 

Network adapter 


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575 East River Rd. 

Inquiry 1086. 

Tucson, AZ 85704 

Strike Fleet 


(602) 293-6363 
Inquiry 1091. 

688 Attack Sub 


Compuguard surge supressor $59 

Electronic Arts 

Priority One Electronics 

P.O. Box 7578 

21622 Plummer St. 

"Master's Collection" 

San Mateo, CA 94403 

Chatsworth, CA 913 1 1 

Sub Battle 


(415) 572-2787 
Inquiry 1096. 



Inquiry 1087. 

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P.O. Box 8020 

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Culture 1.0 


Redwood City, CA 94063 

Castle Oaks Computer Services 

Cultural Resources, Inc. 

(415) 368-3799 

P.O. Box 36082 

7 Little Falls Way 

Inquiry 1092. 

Indianapolis, IN 46236 

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(201) 232-4333 

Northern Fleet 

Inquiry 1097. 

Inquiry 1088. 

Long Lance 
In Harm's Way 

The Curator 


(prices not available) 
Simulations Canada 

Solutions International 

30 Commerce St. 

Box 452 

Williston,VT 05495 

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, 

(802) 658-5506 

Canada B4V 2X6 

Inquiry 1089. 

Inquiry 1093. 

pretty neat if you're into solving word 

Remote Keyboard 

This is one of those gadgets that not 
everyone needs, but if you do need it, 
you'll want it a lot. Despite the name, it's 
not a keyboard; it's a gilhickie about the 
size of a TV remote control with 40 but- 
tons. It comes with an infrared receiver 
that plugs into your computer's serial 
port, plus the software that makes the 
computer listen. 

Once it's installed, you can do just 
about anything with Remote Keyboard 
that you could do with your regular key- 
board; but you won't do it quickly, be- 
cause doing hunt-and-peck typing on a 
four- by 10-button array with keys laid 
out in alphabetical order is darned near 
impossible. Of course, that's not what 
Remote Keyboard is for; what you do is 
use it to control your computer during a 
presentation in the same way that you'd 

use a remote control to advance slides 
during a briefing. You can use PageUp 
and PageDown, Print Screen, and the 
rest of it. You can also set up various 
macros to be executed by Control or Alt 
keys. (You can't use both keys at once; 
unlike your regular keyboard, to get 
Control-C you'd press Control, release 
it, and then press C; ditto for Alt keys.) 

The obvious use for this is in connec- 
tion with a projection system; however, it 
would also work in a situation where you 
have several people crowded around a 
computer screen while the briefer stands 
in another part of the room. It can also be 
used to control a robot, and I understand 
one medical center is doing that. 

Remote Keyboard works with just 
about any PCompatible, including my 
Zenith Portable. I won't use it often, but 
I'm glad to have it here, and I'll probably 
use it at the next meeting of the Advisory 
Council on Space Policy. It would be neat 
to have one for the Macintosh as well. 

Join the Navy! 

I did my military service in the Army, 
and I worked for the Air Force for a good 
part of my aerospace career, but my 
number-three son Phillip is a midship- 
man in the U.S. Navy. That probably ex- 
plains my interest in naval war games. 
We get a lot of them. 

Two of the most recent are submarine 
warfare simulations: EPYX's "Master's 
Collection" Sub Battle, which simulates 
World War II submarine warfare; and 
Electronic Arts' 688 Attack Sub, which 
is modern nuclear submarine warfare. 
The versions I have are the new Mac II 
EPYX Sub Simulator, which does a won- 
derful job of bringing Macintosh color 
graphics to an older (but fun) game, and 
the PC VGA version of 688. 

Of the two, the EPYX simulator is a 
lot easier to "win," but the Electronic 
Arts 688 Attack Sub is more realistic. 
Both are easy to learn and have a realistic 


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feel. As you'd suspect, there's a lot more 
action in the World War II simulation. 
Either one makes for a good way to waste 
an evening. 

Strike Fleet, also from Electronic 
Arts, is a simulation of a modern surface 
battle group without submarines or carri- 
ers; you can command a single ship such 
as the USS Stark or a whole escort group 
in the Persian Gulf, a British ASW force 
off the Falkland Islands, or a large U.S. 
strike force off Iceland. I played this 
every day for more than a week, and the 
only reason I quit was that I got behind in 
my work. There are 10 scenarios, and the 
last few get really tough. 

All three of these games are what 
you'd call "modern" computer games: 
lots of graphics and a great deal of player 
control over each unit. For example, in 
Strike Fleet you have to control each ship 
in your force; you're not only the fleet 
commodore, but the skipper of each 
ship, and for that matter, the weapons of- 
ficer for each ship. While these are not 
really arcade-style games— you can 
pause them, and things don't move all 
that fast— there is a certain arcade flavor 
to them, although do understand that 
good strategy and tactics are more im- 
portant than manual dexterity. 

There's another kind of naval war 
game. Simulations Canada has a series of 
games ranging from the early days of 
World War II to Northern Fleet, an oper- 
ations game set in the North Atlantic in 

There are no fancy graphics to these 
games. Unlike Strike Fleet, which has a 
manual that could serve as a general in- 
troduction to modern weapons capabili- 
ties, Simulations Canada provides al- 
most none of that; you're expected to 
know something about the systems you 
command. There aren't any control 
rooms or individual weapons com- 
mands, either. In Simulations Canada 
games you do what an admiral would 
normally do: issue orders to battle 
groups and get reports on what is known 
about your forces and those of the enemy. 

The result is surprisingly realistic. I 
say surprisingly because the conven- 
tional wisdom in simulations is that you 
need fancy graphics and detailed unit re- 
ports; but in fact that's not realism at all. 
Generals and admirals aren't often re- 
quired to smell the gunpowder. As John 
Keegan shows in The Mask of Command, 
most of that changed irrevocably in the 
period of the U.S. Civil War. 

Anyway, the Simulations Canada 
games are different, because all you'll 
see is screen after screen of menus and 
lists and tables; but they're actually more 

realistic, and to those with the proper 
temperament, no less enjoyable than 
games with "better" interfaces. 


Video standards change. When IBM 
first came out with color, the screen res- 
olution wasn't good enough for sustained 
text work. Then came EGA, which was 
good enough, but which was defectively 
designed. Now we're getting VGA, 
which is really pretty nifty. 

There aren't too many programs that 
take advantage of VGA, so it's not always 
easy to tell just how good it is; indeed, I 
really discovered the difference when I 
ran Electronic Arts' 688 Attack Sub on 
the Northgate 386 (which has VGA and a 
Princeton monitor) and then transferred 
the game to Big Cheetah and the 19-inch 
Electrohome, which was running EGA. 

The result was horrible. I'd previously 
thought EGA to be good enough; after 
seeing what you can do with VGA, I 
thought different. 

However, when I put Video Seven's 
newest 16-bit VRAM VGA in Big Chee- 
tah, the output was a mess. I knew that it 
wasn't the monitor's fault because I was 
testing the system with the Zenith Flat 
Technology Monitor, and that worked 
fine with the VRAM in the Zenith. 

It turns out that the Cheetah's mother- 
board is a bit too fast for most video 
boards; but Cheetah will send you new 
programmable-array-logic chips that 
will fix the problem. 

Meanwhile, I tested Big Cheetah with 
the Video Seven VEGA VGA, which is 
an 8-bit videoboard. Althoughnotasfast 
as the 16-bit VRAM, the VEGA is cer- 
tainly faster than EGA, and of course the 
resolution is better. The result is abso- 
lutely gorgeous on the Electrohome 
monitor. Getting it running on the Elec- 
trohome requires a special cable: the 
monitor only has 9-pin input, and VGA 
boards universally have 15-pin output. 
I've tried about 10 different commercial 
cables, including a set made up by Candy 
Cable of San Diego, and none work; the 
only one that will work came direct from 
Electrohome. Once you have the right 
cable, though, an Electrohome with VGA 
is something to see. 

There is one problem: VGA uses more 
memory than EGA. Since that memory is 
up in the area between 640K bytes and 1 
megabyte, it wouldn't matter, except that 
we're using Quarterdeck's QEMM to 
load stuff like buffers, the mouse driver, 
and the WORM driver up into that area. 
We can still do that, but we don't have 
quite so much of that high memory avail- 
able with VGA, which means that we 

have to reduce the size of our DESQview 
windows. So it goes. 

Winding Down 

My desk is still covered with stuff, but 
I'm out of time and space. The book of 
the month is What Do You Care What 
Other People Think (Norton, 1988), 
which, with Dick Feynman's previous 
Surely You 're Joking, Mr. Feynman, 
make up the extraordinary autobiogra- 
phy of an extraordinary man. If you like 
those, get his QED, which is a readable 
explanation of what quantum electrody- 
namics is all about, and his Character of 
Physical Law, a short and highly read- 
able work on the philosophy of science. 
I've just re-read all those, and I'm a bit 
sad because there are so many things I 
never got a chance to discuss with him; 
but I'm sure glad to have known him. 

The computer book of the month is 
Jeff Dunteman's Complete Turbo Pascal 
(third edition; Scott, Foresman, 1989). 
This is one of the best introductions to 
Pascal ever done; it's organized differ- 
ently from other language books. If 
you've never read another book on pro- 
gramming, try this; you may like it, and 
you'll at least learn something of what 
programming is all about. Of course 
Dunteman doesn't cover the absolutely 
latest version of Turbo Pascal; but that's 
all right. There's plenty to be learned be- 
fore you try dealing with objects. 

The programs of the month are Turbo 
Pascal 5.5 and Microsoft Quick Pascal. 
Both have objects, the new programming 
fad that may well deserve all the atten- 
tion it's getting. If I had to choose one 
and only one, I'd go with Turbo Pascal, 
since it's built up from a mature and sta- 
ble compiler developed in-house, while 
Quick Pascal was bought from outsiders 
and is in its first model year; but I'll 
know a lot more about that next month. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to Globe, Ari- 
zona, and thence to Fort Apache, where 
with luck no one will find me; if I don't 
get Wrath of God done, they're going to 
repossess my house. ■ 

Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psy- 
chology and is a science fiction writer 
who also earns a comfortable living writ- 
ing about computers present and future. 
Jerry welcomes readers ' comments and 
opinions. Send a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope to Jerry Pournelle, c/o BYTE, 
One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, 
NH 03458. Please put your address on 
the letter as well as on the envelope. Due 
to the high volume of letters, Jerry cannot 
guarantee a personal reply. You can also 
contact him on BIX as t( jerryp. " 

110 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 



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Dr. Dobbs Journal 

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Dick Pountain 
BYTE Magazine 

In England and Europe contact: 

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Maxon MVGA-16 adapter 

ith flying .colors 

providing VGA® 

compatibility equal 

to IBM's own VGA adapter 

That's right . . . Maxon's MVGA-16 adapter is 100% IBM® 
compatible. So, if you're using one of the standard IBM 
modes (up to 640x480 with 16 colors), you don't need a special 
driver at all. 

When extended resolution* is required, Maxon still comes 
through with flying colors. The MVGA-16 includes drivers for 
AutoCAD®- ADI® versions 2.1 and 3.1, Lotus® 1-2-3® - : 
release 2.x, Framework II® - releases 1.0 and 1.1, GEM® 
Desktop™ -version 2.x, Ventura Publisher® -releases 1.1 and 
2.0, MS® Windows®/286 - versions 2.03 and 2.1, WordPerfect® 
- releases 4.0 and above, and WordStar® - release 3.xx. 
And that's not the whole story . . . additional drivers are being 
added constantly. 
Circle 157 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 158) 

"High-res drivers offer different resolutions for different software packages. 

with features 
that make it 
unequalled by any 
other VGA adapter 

Operates up to 400% faster than 
IBM VGA adapter 

• Extended modes (require 512K of 
RAM): 1024x768 - 16 colors; 640x480 
- 256 colors 

• Full BIOS and REGISTER compatibility 
with MDA®, CGA®, MCGA®, EGA®, 
VGA® and Hercules® 

• Works with either XT™ or AT®: 16 bit design - 
auto-detects and adapts to 8 bit slots 

• High-res drivers for popular software 

For more information about Maxon's 
16 bit VGA adapter, phone (415) 377-0269, 
FAX (415) 377-0236 or write to Maxon Systems, Inc., 
One Waters Park Drive, Ste. 117, San Mateo, C A 94403. 



A Wholly Owned Subsidiary ol Maxon Electronics Co. Ltd. ol Korea 

The following arc tradenames or registered tradenames of the companies listed: IBM, XI, AT, VGA, 
MDA, CGA, MCGA and EGA- International Business Machines Corp.; Hercules- Hercules Com- 
puter Technology, lnc.;MVGA-16- Maxon Systems, Inc.; AutoCADand ADI- Autodesk, Inc.; Lotus 
and 1-2-3- Lotus Development Corp.; Framework II - Ashton-Tate Corp.; GEM and Desktop- Digi- 
tal Research Inc.; Ventura Publisher - Ventura Software, Inc.; MS and Windows- Microsoft Corp.; 
WordPerfect- WordPerfect Corp.; and WordStar- MicroPro lnt'1. Corp. 

© 1989 -Maxon Systems, Incorporated 


THE UNIX /bin ■ David Fiedler 

A Calm Approach 
to Unix 

The average Unix user 
never has to worry 
about, let alone learn, 
many of the system 
services and nuances 

Editor's note: David Fiedler has writ- 
ten about Unix for BYTE many times. 
Now that Unix has established itself in the 
vocabulary (if not the office) of the ma- 
jority of the computing community, we \e 
established David as our Unix columnist. 
This is the first installment. 

David is the editor and publisher of the 
Unix newsletter Unique, which he started 
on his kitchen table in 1981. He was also 
cofounder of the magazines The C Jour- 
nal (now The C User's Journal,) and Unix 

With Bruce Hunter, he coauthor ed the 
best-selling book Unix System Adminis- 
tration, the first book to cover this impor- 
tant subject. Its success led to the recent 
launch of "Root, their journal of Unix and 
Xenix system administration. David has 
been a consultant to AT&T, ITT, CBS, 
and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, among 
others, and has been in charge of soft- 
ware development efforts at many large 

My prized first issue of BYTE 
(September 1975) contains 
such articles as ''Which 
Microprocessor for You?" 
(your choice of the 8008, 8080, or IMP- 
16) and "Recycling Used ICs" (how to 
use a blowtorch to remove chips from 
printed circuit boards). That same issue 
also had an advertisement from Proces- 
sor Technology for a 3P + S I/O board for 
Altair compatibles that would "fully in- 
terface two TV Typewriters with key- 
boards and a modem or teletype at the 
same time!" This board even let the pe- 

ripherals talk at 9600 bps over the serial 
port. All this was quite advanced for the 
time. The only problem was that the soft- 
ware of the day couldn't possibly have 
supported simultaneous use of all those 

I'll leap forward to the present, 
where— except for a few proprietary 
multiuser PC-DOS-like systems and spe- 
cial background print spoolers and com- 
munications programs— most personal 
computers are limited to doing a single 
thing for a single user at a time. In other 
words, today's microcomputers can also 
have a number of serial ports, but still 
can't use more than one at a time! 

But with all the hardware advances in 
personal computers since they were first 
designed, today's microcomputer users 
have more power at their command than 
the users of many minicomputers of 20 
years ago. The machines are now being 
severely underutilized. So it makes eco- 
nomic sense to look at ways of increasing 
personal productivity on computers, 

whether by sharing physical machines or 
by enabling one computer to do a lot 
more. That's what the idea of multitask- 
ing and multiuser operating systems is all 

Enter Unix 

At the time that BYTE's first issue was 
published, the Unix operating system 
was already six years old— about the 
same age MS-DOS is now. Unix has un- 
dergone many changes— not all for the 
better, perhaps— in its 20 years. 

Just for the record, I'll list a few im- 
portant features of Unix: 

• It is written in C and is portable to 
other architectures. 

• It is multiuser and multitasking. 

• It has a hierarchical file system 
with mountable disk volumes. 

• It has file redirection and pipes. 

• It is ready for communications: 
local- and wide-area networking. 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 113 

Circle 237 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 238) 

Debug Your 


You Write It! 

THE UNIX /bin 

"Deep bugs", the kind that show up 
after you ship the product, are usually the 
result of logic flaws. Such bugs include 
redundancies, contradictions, unique con- 
ditions without specified actions, etc. 

Logic Gem, a proven programmer's 
tool, helps you avoid these bugs in three 

♦ Catches logical errors before you 
code the program. Saves hours of 
debugging time. 

♦ Automatically produces written 
documentation of your logic, 
which insures good communica- 
tions between designer and coder. 
(And helps remind you of the 
logic from one work session to 
the next.) 

♦ Automatically generates flawless 
code for the "guts" of your 
program... in C, BASIC, Pascal, 

LogicGem works with whatevercom- 
piler you are using. The only change: 
with Logic Gem youcatch and correct the 
logic bugs before you write the program. 

Jerry Pournelle says (Chaos 
Manor, BYTE, March 1989), "It has 
already saved me several hours, and 
I haven t had it a week. Highly rec- 

Avoid hours and days of needless de- 
bugging time. Call 1-800-722-7853 now 
for details about Logic Gem. Or put 
Logic Gem to work for you immedi- 
ately: Order a copy (it costs only $195) 
anduseitfor90daysatourrisk. You can 
return itf orany reason within 90 days for 
a complete refund. 

Sterling Castle, Inc. 
702 Washington St. #174 
Marina del Rey, CA 90292 
1-800-323-6406 (in CA) 
1-213-821-8122 FAX 

• It has many useful standard and 
optional utilities. 

• It can handle a wide variety of de- 
vices in an identical manner. 

• It has many software development 
tools built in. 

• It has an E-mail system. 

• It has a true print spooler system. 

Most people who say things like, "I 
don't think Unix is any better than xxx" 
are ignoring the importance of the first 
two features. It is uncommon that an op- 
erating system is portable across ma- 
chines with different architectures and 
from different manufacturers. And to 
compare a system with the size and com- 
plexity of Unix to a system that can run 
only one thing at a time is pointless. 

The problem most users have when 
faced with the task of "learning Unix" 
(or learning Xenix; for all practical pur- 
poses, they are now equivalent) is that 
it's big. Unfortunately, some companies 
have promoted Unix to microcomputer 
users by telling them that Unix is a kind 
of large DOS. Then the users encounter a 
meter-wide set of manuals and command 
names that sound like extinct animal spe- 
cies. They run screaming for the nearest 
exit. Unix gets some more bad press. 

Perhaps the best approach to Unix is a 
calm one. Unix is a real operating sys- 
tem, not just a glorified program loader. 
Most people get along fine in DOS, even 

though DOS has many commands with 
unusual syntax (I assure you, pressing 
the F3 key to repeat a command is nonin- 
tuitive). The average Unix user never has 
to worry about (let alone learn) many of 
the system services and nuances. Unix 
was developed in the days when a tele- 
type was the standard input device, and 
anyone who has ever used an ASR-33 
knows you don't want to type any more 
characters than necessary. So command 
names tend to be short (vowels are the 
first to go). In the interest of harmony 
and mutual understanding, therefore, 
table 1 presents a cross-reference of com- 
mon DOS and Unix commands. This 
table is all you need to get started in 
Unix. Not really so bad, is it? 

You'll notice that many Unix com- 
mand names are the same as in DOS. 
Perhaps that should be written the other 
way: Quite a few Unix features (such as 
hierarchical directories, redirection, and 
pipes) were used as "role models" when 
DOS was being designed. It's just that 
DOS got the slash backward. 

Let's Get Graphical 

Macintosh users aren't being ignored 
here, but they have a much different user 
interface than either DOS or Unix, and 
I'm not particularly good at drawing pic- 
tures. The Macintosh has made a great 
contribution to computing: graphical 


Table 1: Common DOS commands, their Unix equivalents, and an English 


(Note that 

my definition of dd is facetious.) 






Tape ARchiver 



Change Directory 



File System ChecK 



Clear screen 



CoMPare two files 






Set or show the date and time 



ReMove file 



LiSt directory contents 



LiSt directory in Columns 



DarneD if 1 know what it stands for 



ReMove file 



Global Regular Expression Print 



Format disk 



Mount disk or partition on file 

system label 


Label file-system volume 



MaKe DIRectory 



Set TeleTYpe characteristics 



Show file a page at a time 



Line Printer 



MoVe file to new name 



ReMove DIRectory 



Show environment variables 






conCATenate (can be used for either) 

114 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 


UNIX™ Tools on DOS or OS/2 

Programming today means you must 
work within more than one environment. 
A diverse range of hardware is now a 
fact of life. With the MKS Toolkit, you 
can enjoy the best of DOS or OS/2 and 
UNIX environments. The MKS Toolkit 
offers both experts and novices the 
purest form of UNIX utilities that the 
DOS or OS/2 environment allows. 

Reduce Keyboard Shock 

With our proprietary code, the MKS 
Toolkit offers you more than 140 UNIX 
System V.3-compatible tools for DOS or 
OS/2. With the MKS Toolkit, your 
computer or clone becomes a comfort- 
able environment for shells, string 
matching, editing, file manipulation, and 
more. Productivity increases because all 
the familiar commands are at your fin- 

Site Licenses 

The MKS Toolkit reflects its users' 
needs. Organizations such as AT&T, 
H-P, ITT, and NCR - all heavily commit- 
ted to the UNIX system - use the MKS 
Toolkit to create a standard operating 
environment. Universities, including 
UCLA, use the MKS Toolkit to enrich 
personal research computing environ- 
ments and double the bandwidth of their 
PC teaching labs. The National Institute 
of Standards and Technology fulfills 
diverse needs by using the MKS Toolkit 
as standard operating environment for 
experts and as a POSIX-conf orming 
training tool for neophytes. 


The MKS Toolkit provides two types 
of valuable interconnectivity. First, it 
interacts well on most standard PC and 
PS/2 networks. Combined with Novell 
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ganizations. UNIX shops can now hook 
up all their PCs using PC-NFS™ and the 
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as a UNIX workstation and off-load your 
mini or mainframe machine. The second 
level of interconnectivity is created by 
the MKS Toolkit's ability to recognize 
common UNIX file formats on DOS or 
OS/2 and to make DOS or OS/2 file 
formats available on UNIX systems. 

POSIX-Conf orming Tools 

MKS is an active participant on the 
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involvement reflects MKS' commitment 
to tracking the shells and utilities 
standard to the fullest extent possible 
under DOS or OS/2. Apart from multi- 
tasking and constraints on file names 
under DOS or OS/2, the MKS Toolkit 
follows the POSIX standard. MKS 
achieves this by building the underlying 
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moving utilities. 

Cost-effective Learning Tool 

If your organization is committed to 
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the MKS Toolkit is the perfect learning 
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Exposure to new commands and 
functionality now becomes an integral 
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solutions are easily available and the 
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MKS Programming Platform 

The MKS Toolkit is the vital core of the 
programming platform created by MKS 
software. In addition to the MKS 

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(Revision Control System) 

• MKS Make™ 
(automated program builder) 

(compiler construction tools) 

• MKS SQPS™ (enhanced Documen- 
tor's Workbench™) 

Addictive Software! 

The MKS Toolkit offers you power and 
diversity. Here is a complete list of 
commands you receive in the package: 
























































: (colon) 






P r 












P s . 





















































■ (dot) 










No wonder our users call it 

addictive software! 

System Requirements: 

The MKS Toolkit works on 
IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2 and 
compatible machines under 
DOS 2.1 and higher or 
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Order Information 

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Ask for Department BY 

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MKS. MKS Toolkit, MKS RCS. MKS Make. MKS LEX&YACC.and MKS SQPS are trademarks of Mortice Kern Systems Inc. Other trademarks have been cited and MKS acknowledges the; 

Circle 173 on Reader Service Card 

Circle 264 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 265) 

THE UNIX /bin 

It Is Technology* 

VenturCom's realtime UNIX product 
family has the only real time kernel for 
standard hardware platforms which is 
AT&T's UNIX System V. Not a simple 
UNIX clone. Not just UNIX on top of a 
real time executive. 

Real UNIX provides designers 
with SVID and POSIX standards, RFS 
and NFS, X-windows, Streams, complete 
development tools, multiple DOS under 
UNIX tasks. And early access to future 

Real time adds performance 
and functionality to UNIX with preemp- 
tive and biased scheduling, contiguous file 
system, average interrupt latency of 50 jis, 
bounded context switches, memory lock- 
ing, asynchronous I/O, and much more. 

Ask us about VENIX™ for 
80286/80386 PCs and Single Board Com- 
puters; RTX™ for other UNIX versions, 
such as Interactive System's 386/ix™ 
and small, diskless, and ROMable 
UNIX kernels. Find out why Foxboro, 
Toshiba, GE, and many others are using 
VenturCom's real time UNIX products. 


Real Time/Real Unix 

215 First Street 
Cambridge, MA 02142 
Nippon VentuiCom, Inc. 
Tokyo 102 Japan 03-234-9381 

UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T 
386/ixis a trademarkof Interactive Systems Corp. 
VENIX, FTX are trademarks of VenturCom, Inc. 

user interfaces (sometimes abbreviated 
GUI and pronounced the same as the 
word that implies ice cream dripping on 
your shirt— see "A Guide to GUIs" by 
Frank Hayes and Nick Baran, July 
BYTE). AT&T has announced that Open 
Look will be the standard interface for 
Unix in its next release (Unix System V 
release 4, or simply SVR4). It is clear 
that graphical interfaces are here to stay. 

To anyone who has seen Open Look 
(and most other graphical interfaces) in 
action, it is also clear that a great deal of 
computing power will be necessary to 
support this kind of interface. It's a real 
dragon-and-egg problem: Are graphics 
becoming popular because we finally 
have processors powerful enough to sup- 
port them? Or are the processors being 
developed because they're needed for to- 
day's graphics overhead? 

Personally, I find multiple windows 
on one screen distracting. Yes, you have 
the ability to cut and paste between them, 
and the simultaneous display of text and 
graphics. But for working on several 
things at once, I prefer the approach pop- 
ularized in The Santa Cruz Operation's 
(SCO) Xenix: A function-key combina- 
tion switches you to a different "virtual 
screen," replacing the original complete- 
ly. This helps me to switch context men- 
tally. It also gives me much higher per- 
formance on my hardware. No CPU time 
is wasted on something I don't need. 

What About Networking? 

As many users think of it, networking re- 
fers to a spider's web of cables attaching 
personal computers to each other and to 
"server machines." The servers are es- 
sentially multiuser computers whose 
main purpose is to send files to the per- 
sonal computers. As generally imple- 
mented, personal computer networks of 
today are limited to the basics: file trans- 
fer and E-mail. 

Unix systems have had the basics built 
in for many years, by way of the UUCP 
(for Unix-to-Unix copy) subsystem. To- 
day, UUCP is known as the Basic Net- 
working Utilities, and it's still included 
in every Unix or Xenix system sold. 
Using UUCP as a base, you can set up 
complex processes such as automatic file 
servers, E-mail "answering machines," 
and transparent remote printing. None of 
this needs hardware that's any more 
high-tech than an auto-dialing modem. 
And, of course, there is the store-and- 
forward worldwide UUCP-Net E-mail 
network, with perhaps 1.5 million mail- 
boxes, and the distributed Usenet BBS, 
NetNews. (See "The Unix Connection" 
by Ben Smith, May BYTE.) 

Networking in the larger sense implies 
much more. The Network File System 
(NFS) and Remote File Sharing (RFS) 
capabilities, generally implemented via 
Ethernet, allow multiple machines to 
combine their file systems as if they were 
all on one large computer. Users can 
move around in the file system, reading 
and writing to files, unaware and uncon- 
cerned that they are actually accessing 
files on machines across the hall, across 
the street, or even across the country. 
This has led to the growth of LANs with 
many connected diskless workstations 
that use a central file server to hold mate- 
rial on disk. . . . Did you say that sounds 
like personal computer LANs? It does— 
but with Unix workstations, the sharing 
of files is transparent, so there's less 
need to copy whole files back and forth. 
The net result (pun not intended, but not- 
ed) is less traffic on the network and less 
special software that must be added (and 
learned!) to use the network. 

A Breather 

Here's a preview of the future of this col- 
umn. For the first few articles, I'll be 
concentrating on Unix on microcom- 
puters: Why would you want to bother 
with Unix on personal computers? I'll 
discuss the choices and trade-offs you'll 
be confronted with, once you've made 
the big step. Will you ever be able to go 
back to DOS? Will you ever have to? (Or 
want to?) And general Unix topics: How 
you can get some of the public domain 
Unix software that you 're always hearing 
about; why Unix might be useful even if 
you're not a programmer; and some 
drawbacks to Unix (nothing's perfect, 
after all). And of course, I'll discuss how 
you can learn some of the more involved 
Unix commands, utilities, and languages 
so that you can "increase your personal 
productivity," too. 

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting to receive 
some mail from you. Tell me what you 
want to read about in future articles. In 
general, the idea is to cover both hard- 
ware and software as it relates to Unix 
and give you enough detail to keep you 
challenged, but not get so esoteric that 
your eyes cross and you turn the page. 
Everything else is wide open. ■ 

David Fiedler is editor and publisher of 
the Unix newsletters Unique and Root 
and coauthor of the book Unix System 
Administration. He can be reached on 
BIX as "fiedler." 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

116 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

MicroWay Means Numerics! 

MicroWay is your best source for the 
software and hardware you need to get true 32 
bit performance from your 386. These include 
32-bit tools, such as NDP Fortran, C, and Pas- 
cal, and the 32-bit applications that were 
developed with them (see last paragraph). 
These products run in protected mode under 
Unix, Xenix, or Phar Lap extended MS-DOS. 

Startingwithrelease1.4VM, NDP Fortran, C 
and Pascal not only access 4 gigabytes of 
memory, but run with Phar Lap's new VMM 
extension which provides 386 protected mode 
virtual memory. Now you can run a program 
with a 30 MB array on a 2 MB system simply 
by having 30 MB of space on your hard disk. 

MicroWay also offers transputer based 
parallel processing boards and languages that 
runinanXT,AT,or386. Each of theT800 RISC 
processors on these boards packs the power 

Dr. Robert Atwell, leading defense scientist, 

calculates that NDP Fortran-386 is saving him 

$12,000 per month in rentals of VAX 

hardware and software while doubling his 


FredZiegler of AspenTech in Cambridge, 

Mass. reports, 7 ported 900,000 lines of 

Fortran source in two weeks without a single 

problem!" As penTech's Chemical Modeling 

System is in use on mainframes worldwide 

and is probably the largest application to ever 

run on an Intel processor. 

Dr. Jerry Ginsberg of Georgia Tech reports, 

"My problems run a factor of six faster using 

NDP Fortran-386 on an mW1167 equipped 

386/20 than they do on my Micro VAX II. " 

of a 20 MHz 386/1 1 67. Our best selling board, 
the Quadputer2™, has four T800s and boasts 
40 Ml PS/6 megaflops of processor throughput. 
MicroWay manufactures Weitek 1 167 and 
3167 coprocessor cards that run with the 
80386. Both cards include an 80387 socket. 
The 1 167 is 2 to 4 times faster than the 80387. 
The 3167 runs 30% faster than the 1167 in 
double precision. The key to achieving this 
speed increase is our NDP Fortran or C and 
the new 32-bit applications that offer Weitek 
support. Either processor provides a dramatic 
increase in throughput for graphics intensive 
applications. These include VersaCad and 
Hoops 3D graphics, ANVIL 5000 CAD/CAM, 
SRAC and Swanson Analysis finite element 
packages, Mathematica and a host of other 
packages that were recently ported to the 386 
using our N DP Fortran and NDP C. Please call 
(508) 746-7341 for more information. 

32-Bit Compilers and Tools 

NDP Fortran-386™, NDP C-386™, and NDP 
Pascal-386™ compilers generate globally op- 
timized, mainframe quality code. Each runs in 
386 protected mode under Unix, Xenix or Phar 
Lap extended MS-DOS. The memory model 
employed uses 2 segments, each of which can 
be up to 4 gigabytes. They generate code for 
the 80287, 80387, mW3167 or mW1167 and 
include high speed EGA graphics extensions 
written in C that perform BASIC-like screen 
operations. NDP Fortran-386™ is a full im- 
plementation of FORTRAN-77 with Berkeley 
4.2 and Fortran-66 extensions. NDP C-386™ 
is a full implementation of AT&T's PCC with MS 
and ANSI extensions. NDP Pascal-386™ is a 
full implementation of ANSI/IEEE Pascal, with 
extensions from C and Berkeley 4.2 Pascal. 
NDPFortran/C/Pascal-386/DOS each $595 

NDP Fortran/C/Pascal-386/VM $695 

NDP Fortran/C/Pascal-386/UNIX $795 

Phar Lap 386/VMM extensions are supported 
by the VM releases of NDP Fortran, C, and 
Pascal, making it possible to compile and run 
programs as large as the free space on your 
hard disk. 

Phar Lap Virtual Memory Manager . . $295 
Phar Lap Development Tools $495 

NDP Windows™ — NDP Windows includes 80 
functions that let you create, store, and recall 
menus and windows. It works with NDP C-386 
and drives all the popular graphics adapters 
Library: $1 25, C Source: $250 

NDP Plot™ — Calcomp compatible plot pack- 
age that is callable from NDP Fortran. It in- 
cludes drivers for popular plotters and printers. 
Works with CG A, MDA, EGA and VGA . . . $325 

NDP/FFT™ — Includes 40 fast running, hand 
coded algorithms for single and double dimen- 
sioned FFTs which take advantage of the 32-bit 
addressing of the 386 or your hard disk. Call- 
able from NDP Fortran with mW1167 and 

80387support $250 

387FFT for 1 6-bit compilers $250 

NDP to HALO '88 Graphics Interface — 

Enables you to call graphics routines in HALO 
'88 from NDP Fortran, C or Pascal $100 


Parallel Processing 

Videoputer™ — The highest performance 
graphics card on the market. Uses a T800 and 
Tl 34010 in conjunction with a 130 MHz Brook- 
Tree DAC Includes one MB of system RAM, 
one meg of video RAM and a library of graphics 
primitives. Runs standalone or in conjunction 
with a transputer network and drives 32 and 64 
KHz analog monitors $4995 

Monoputer™— The world's most popular PC 
transputer development product now extends 
the memory available for developing transputer 
applications from 2 to 16 MB. The board fea- 
tures a DMA bus interface for fast I/O. 

Monoputer with T414 (0 MB) $995 

Monoputer with T800 (0 MB) $1495 

Quadputer™— This board for the AT or 386 
can be purchased with 2, 3 or 4 transputers and 
1 or 4 MB of memory per transputer. Two or 
more Quadputers can be linked together to 
build networks of up to 1 00 or more transputers 
providing mainframe power from $3495 

Linkputer™ — Uses four Inmos C004 
programmable cross bar switches. I tallows the 
user to dynamically change the topology of the 
processors in a network. Using this board, it is 
possible to get 100% linkage among eight 
Quadputers and design larger, custom 
topologies CALL 

Transputer Compilers and Applications 
These Parallel languages are designed for use 
with Monoputer2 and Quadputer2. 

Logical Systems Parallel C $595 

3L Parallel Cor3L Parallel Fortran . . $895 
COSMOS/M - Finite element analysis .CALL 

ParaSoft: Parallel Environment $500 

Performance Monitor . . . $500 

C Source Level Debugger $500 

T800/NAG™(See NDP/NAG) $2750 

387BASIC™ — Our 16-bit MS compatible 
compiler introduces numeric register variables 
to produce the fastest running 80x87 code on 
the market $249 

(508) 746-7341 

386 Your AT 

386/387 Turbo™AT — This board plugs into 
your 80286 socket, allowing your IBM AT to run 
32-bit protected-mode code written for the 
80386. Includes an 80387 socket. The most 
cost-effective AT upgrade! 

386/387 Turbo AT/16MHz $495 

386/387 Turbo AT/25 MHz $695 

Weitek-Based Coprocessor Boards 

mVV1167™and mW3167™ coprocessor 
boards are built at MicroWay using Weitek 
components. Each includes an 80387 socket. 

mWl167-16 $895 

mWH67-20 $1095 

mWH67Microchannel-16/20 CALL 

3167-20 $995 

3167-25 $1295 

3167-33 $1695 

mW3167/80387 Board $150 

Intel Coprocessors and RAM 

80387-33 $550 

80287-8 $195 

80387-16 $360 

80387-20 $400 

8087-2 $120 

80287-10 $220 

80387-1 6SX ..$310 
80387-25 $500 

80C287A (CMOS) $280 

287 Turbo-12 (for AT compatibles) $350 

RAMpak" one meg 32-bit memory module for 

Compaq 386 20/25 $425 

RAMpak™ - four meg $1500 

256K 80ns DRAM $8.00 

256K 100ns DRAM . $6.50 

256K SIMMs 100ns $90 

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(All of our Intel coprocessors include 87Test.) 

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USA FAX 508- 746-4678 Germany 069-75-2023 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 117 

INALLY A debugging 
tool tough enough to 
handle the DOS 

New Version 2.0 

Nasty over-write? No sweat! 

Soft- 1 CI: memory range break points help you 
track clown memory over- write problems 
whether you are doing the over-writing or 
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Hung program? No problem! 

When the system hangs, you now have hope. 
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Program too large? Not with Soft-ICE! 

Soft- ICE runs entirely in extended memory, This means 
you can debug even the largest DOS programs. And 
since your program runs at the same address whether 
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bugs that change when the starting address o\ your 
code changes. 

System debugging? Soft-ICE is a natural! 

Soft-ICE is ideal for full source level debugging of TSRs, 
interrupt service routines, self booting programs, DOS 
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and ROMs. Soft-ICE can even debug within DOS & BIOS. 

How Soft-ICE Works 

Soft-ICE uses the power of the 80386 to sur- 
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This gives you complete control of the 
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With Soft-ICE you get all the speed and power of 
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118 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 181 on Reader Service Card 


DOWN TO BUSINESS ■ Wayne Rash Jr. 


Neither Snow, 
Nor Chicago... 

Spring Comdex was 
no picnic, but there was 
good news for users 

Neither the snow nor the reloca- 
tion to Chicago could hide the 
good news that Spring Comdex 
had for business this year. 
While Comdex may have suffered a bit 
from those factors, it was a significant 
show for business users of personal com- 
puters. This was the show where busi- 
ness found that the computers of the fu- 
ture would get both better and cheaper; 
where the flirtation between computers 
and the fax process became lust; and 
where the "Year of the LAN" became 
the great expectation of connectivity. 

The move to things better, faster, and 
cheaper was shown no more clearly than 
in the introduction of the Intel 80486. 
This is the processor that will lead busi- 
ness users to the world of a mainframe on 
a desk. That mainframe on a desk will 
communicate with ever-more-powerful 
laptops and peripherals through LANs 
without traditional cards and even LANs 
without wires. 

It was impossible to tell what was hap- 
pening in the Macintosh world. Apple 
wasn't there, and Macdex crashed and 
burned. Apple's absence was the PC 
world's gain, however, and the 80486 
gained center stage. 

80486 Fever 

The 80486 is important because it allows 
a high-performance computer to be built 
with fewer components. This chip incor- 
porates into its design many functions 
that were formerly done by support 
chips. Thus, you will no longer need sep- 
arate components for the math copro- 
cessor or for caching. The processor will 
have these functions built in. 

The reduction in components will 

allow the 80486 to be designed to run 
much faster than did earlier processors. 
In addition, a computer using the 80486 
can be built at a lower cost than can a 
comparable one with an 80386. Chee- 
tah's Gene Sumrall was one of the first to 
point this out to me. He was also one of 
the first to show a motherboard that 
would support the 80486. Cheetah had 
designed its new board so that it would 
take a daughterboard for the CPU. This 
means that the company can offer the 
same basic board for an entire product 
line, changing only the daughterboard 
that supports the processor. 

A few manufacturers, including IBM 
and Zenith, promised to have machines 
based on the 80486 by the year's end. 
Zenith's Andy Czernek said that his 
company's computer would use the Ex- 
tended Industry Standard Architecture 
bus. If so, Zenith would be one of the 
first companies to introduce an EISA 
machine. According to Czernek, it will 
be available at the end of the year. 

The fact that the 80486 will bring 
business users machines that are faster 
and cheaper is good news. It's likely, of 
course, that the first prices to drop will 
be those of the 80386 and systems that 
are based on it. That's even better news. 

More Speed 

Zenith was one of the first manufacturers 
to announce that it had begun shipping a 
33-MHz 80386-based computer, the Z- 
386/33. There were others as well, in- 
cluding Compaq and Everex. We had 
been expecting 33-MHz machines for 
about six months— ever since Fall Com- 
dex—but they became available only 
when Intel began shipping the chips in 
late March. A few companies had previ- 
ously built systems that ran at this speed, 
but those machines used components de- 
signed for 25 MHz and simply run be- 
yond their design speed. 

The advent of commercially available 
33-MHz machines means a great deal to 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 119 

Other Laptop 
Products Don't 

Measure Up . . . 

Introducing LANLink Laptop 

The rules have changed for laptop file 
transfer utilities. That's because our new 
LANLink Laptop™ gives you much more 
than just simple file transfer between lap- 
tops and desktop PCs. Now you can run 
desktop programs from your laptop, 
share remote printers or disks and even 
transfer files while you're wordprocessing. 

The Whole Nine Yards 

Of course, if you just want to transfer 
files you can do that too— at speeds up 
to 500K bps, the fastest on the market. 
But since LANLink Laptop offers so many 
other benefits, and sells for about the 
same price as the other prop^^s, why 
would you settle for less? 

For more information on LANLink Laptop, 
or the distributor nearest you, call us 
today. We'll show you how you can 
extend the capabilities of your laptop 
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LANLink Laptop is a trademark of 
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companies that use their machines for 
CAD or desktop publishing. There, the 
improvement in speed will more than 
offset the higher cost through gains in 

A Few Pertinent Fax 

A year ago, Comdex attendees realized 
that computers and fax were becoming a 
team. Fax cards were everywhere. The 
trend continues, but the bare fact is that 
fax is finally becoming integrated well 
enough to be useful. In addition, it is 
moving out of the desktop PC and into 
areas where it makes more sense to have 
a fax interface. 

In my June column, I looked at some 
of the earlier fax cards, as well as a 
stand-alone fax machine made by Mur- 
ata, a long-established manufacturer of 
stand-alone fax systems. At Comdex, 
Murata introduced its F-50 network fax 
server. This is a complete fax machine, 
including scanner and printer, that plugs 
into a network via a workstation. You can 
send faxes through the network, and you 
can scan them as you normally would. 
The F-50 contains its own processor and 
memory, so the conversion from a file to 
a fax image occurs inside the F-50 itself. 
This reduces the load on the network and 
the file-server or workstation disks. 

The F-50 is not the first network fax 
server, but it seems to be the best thought 
out. There are times, after all, when you 
need to send something that is already on 
paper, and creating an image so that you 
can send it using a fax card can be cum- 
bersome in the extreme. Likewise, there 
are times when you simply want to leave 
the fax machine turned on while every- 
thing else is shut off for the weekend. 
The F-50 will let you accomplish this. 

At the other end of the spectrum is a 
new card from Holmes Microsystems 
that contains a combination 9600-bps fax 
and a 2400-bps modem. The FAX 'EM 
card is about 2 inches square and con- 
tains only a few surface-mount chips, yet 
it's fully functional. It fits inside the ex- 
pansion slot on Toshiba and Zenith lap- 
top computers and costs about the same 
as competing full-size fax cards. Holmes 
also introduced a combination fax printer 
and scanner called PFIDO that attaches 
to a laptop computer. The entire machine 
is about 9 inches long and 1 inch square. 

LAN Sakes 

Clearly, the Year of the LAN has hap- 
pened. A year ago, LANs were still 
something mysterious. By Fall Comdex, 
they were an accepted part of the com- 
puting environment. This year, they're 


120 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 232 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 233) 

Faster computers sooner. . . 

from FORTRON. 


0- a— fl ; 

S3 I 

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NetSet™ 286 

12, 16, 20 MHz 


NetSet™ 325, 333 DeskTop or Power 

Desktop 286 or 386 

12, 16. 20 MHz 

As fast as products are designed, that's about how fast you can get them from Fortran. 
In early 1987 we were one of the first to ship an Intel 386™ based personal computer. 

Now we're ready to dazzle you with speed again: the NetSet™ 325 and NetSet™ 333 per- 
sonal computers, based on Intel 386™ 25 MHz and 33 MHz microprocessors. Designed for 
optimum performance of CAD/CAM, UNIX, XENIX, and network 
server applications. 

Like all our other personal computers, these come with one full 
year of service, free, at your site (USA). We're that sure of the 
reliability. And because we manufacture the computers ourselves, 
right here in California, you know exactly who to call with any 
technical questions; and if they do need service, we can fix them 
fast. Speed, service, and savings. That's Fortron. 

NetSet 286-12 
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Tel: 415-373-1008 

FAX: 415-373-1168 TELEX: 559291 

□ Please have a sales 
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I am a 

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Name . 
Title _ 

Company . 
Address _ 

City _ 
State . 
Zip ___ 

I Phone No, 


Circle 96 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 97) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 121 






factory upgrade 




Murata Business Systems, Inc. 

Datapath, Ltd. 

5560 Tennyson Pkwy. 

Datapath House 

Piano, TX 75024 

High St. 


Melbourne, Derby 

Inquiry 1025. 

DE7 1GJ, UK 


Inquiry 1029. 









Penny and Giles Computer 

Holmes Microsystems, Inc. 

Products, Ltd. 

2620 South 900 West 

35 Reynolds St. 

Salt Lake City, UT 841 19 

Attleboro, MA 02703 

(801) 975-9929 

(508) 226-3008 

Inquiry 1026. 

Inquiry 1030. 




O'Neill Communications, Inc 

Model 150 


100 ThanetCir., Suite 202 

Model 320 


Princeton, NJ 08540 

Zenith Data Systems 


1000 Milwaukee Ave. 

Inquiry 1027. 

Glenview, IL 60025 

Pocket Ethernet Adapter. . . . 




Inquiry 1031. 

22231 MulhollandHwy., 

Suite 114 

Woodland Hills, CA 91364 


Inquiry 1028. 

part of the scenery. In fact, they're ev- 
erywhere. Still, there is some wonder re- 
maining in the land of the LANs. 

One of the problems with the office 
LAN has been that you needed a com- 
puter with an expansion slot to use the 
LAN properly; portables need not apply. 
While you could always use a LAN with 
a modem or a serial interface, this is dif- 
ficult and usually too slow to work well 
with most personal computer software. 

Xircom has solved that problem with 
its Pocket Ethernet Adapter. This device, 
about the size of a pack of cigarettes, 
plugs into the parallel port on any IBM 
PC-compatible computer. The adapter is 
available to support either thick- or thin- 
wire Ethernet. Included with the adapter 
are drivers for Novell NetWare. 

The Pocket Ethernet Adapter is de- 
signed for use with laptops, but it will 
work well with computers that otherwise 
have limitations in the number of slots 
available. This means that you can buy 
one of those Zenith EaZy PCs being sold 
on the cable TV shopping channels and 
use it for a Novell workstation. 

At $695, the Pocket Ethernet Adapter 
is a bit more expensive than some other 

Ethernet cards, but not by much. It's cer- 
tainly worth the price if it can give you 
access to your office LAN where you 
didn't have it before. 

Of course, at times the problem isn't 
the network interface card, but rather the 
cables that accompany a LAN. O'Neill 
Communications has found a way to 
eliminate that part of a LAN by using 
radio instead of cables. O'Neill calls the 
result a LAWN (local-area wireless net- 
work). The system uses spread-spectrum 
packet switching, and it is a little slower 
than traditional LANs. On the other 
hand, it works better without cables than 
do traditional LANs. 

LAWN has a great deal in common 
with the printer servers that I discussed 
in my December column. It attaches to 
the computer's serial port and is used 
most effectively for printer sharing, al- 
though it will support E-mail and file 
sharing. As I'm writing this, LAWN is 
undergoing FCC certification, but it 
should be available by late summer. 

English Inroads 

Comdex always brings exhibitors from 
all over the world, and this year was no 

exception. Several companies from the 
U.K. were part of a government-spon- 
sored group. One company, Penny and 
Giles Computer Products, has produced 
a trackball that really will take the place 
of a mouse. Normally, a trackball re- 
quires two hands to operate (at least it 
does for me), which offsets the advantage 
of using little desk space. 

You operate TrackerMouse with one 
hand. Pressable areas on the sides of the 
device take the place of mouse buttons. 
The trackball protrudes through the top 
and bottom of the device, so that you can 
operate it without having it planted on the 

TrackerMouse includes a solar calcu- 
lator on its top. I suppose that this is 
based on an assumption that anyone who 
has a desk sufficiently messy to preclude 
the use of a mouse is also likely to lose a 
calculator. Probably a safe assumption. 

[Editor's note: For more information 
on TrackerMouse, see Computing at 
Chaos Manor in the July BYTE.] 

Also from the U.K. is the Datapath 
video board, an extremely high-resolu- 
tion board designed for CAD and for 
desktop publishing. The Datapath video 
board supports resolutions of up to 1600 
by 1280 pixels on the IBM PC (Model Q- 
PC) and the PS/2 (Model Q-MCAX), 
and it's extremely fast. I watched one 
board running at 1280- by 1024-pixel 
resolution redraw Autodesk's sample 
drawing of St. Paul's Cathedral in 1 Vi 
seconds. I don't think I've ever seen it 
done faster. 

Modern Maturity 

Spring Comdex this year was quiet. This 
was partly because Chicago's huge Mc- 
Cormick Place convention center swal- 
lowed the crowds more easily than do 
convention centers in Atlanta or Las Ve- 
gas. I suspect that the timing also had 
something to do with it. Not everybody 
likes Comdex in the snow. 

Finally, the hype level seemed to be 
down a little. Perhaps that means that we 
are more sure of ourselves— a more ma- 
ture industry. ■ 

Wayne Rash Jr. is a contributing editor 
for BYTE and a member of the profession- 
al staff of American Management Sys- 
tems, Inc. (Arlington, VA). He consults 
with the federal government on micro- 
computers and communications. You can 
contact him on BIX as "waynerash, " or 
in the to. wayne conference. 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

122 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

#1 In A Series. 


• Completely user-installable 

• Pocket-sized external 
device 'Menu-driven, user- 
friendly interface • Single- or 
multi-user security system 
'Audit trail, log-on identi- 
fiers and automatic encryp- 
tion/decryption of entire 
directories • Secures data 
transmitted by modems 
•Prevents recovery of data 
by utility programs 

Dealer Inquiries Welcome. 

Ask The Doctor 

Your Most Important Questions 

About PC Data Security 

Escalating instances of PC data theft and misuse affecting both government and industry 
have shown the need for an effective yet easy-to-use data security product. U.S. Public law 
100-235 now mandates that government agencies protect sensitive data files. 

In response, Dr. Alan K. Jennings, Ph.D., inventor and co-founder of 
Rainbow Technologies, has designed the DataSentry™ an external 
hardware key that provides data file security without the problems 
associated with internal hardware and software-based protection. 

In this first of a series of informational bulletins, Dr, Jennings answers 
some of the more frequently asked questions on PC data security and the 
DataSentry system from Rainbow Technologies. 

Q. What is the DataSentry 

A. The DataSentiy protection 
system consists of a combination 
of a hardware enciyption device - 
Personal Access Key - and 
associated software that runs on 
an IBM or compatible PC having 
a parallel printer port and a 
iloppy disk drive. The DataSentiy 
provides three types of security: 
mandatoiy use of the access key 
to open a file, enciyption and 
password protection. 

Q. What is inside the 
Personal Access Key? 

A. Inside each pocket-sized 
Personal Access Key is a pro- 
prietary custom-designed 
integrated circuit, often referred 
to as an Application Specific 
Integrated Circuit (ASIC). This 
ASIC was designed by engineers 
at Rainbow Technologies speci- 
fically for the DataSentiy system. 
The full capabilities of the ASIC 
are known only to Rainbow. In 
operation, the proprietaiy ASIC 
implements a special function 
called an algorithm, chosen from 
many thousands of possible 
algorithms when the key is being 
manufactured at the Rainbow 

Q. What is the disadvantage of 
password-only software 

A. The main disadvantage of 
password only protection is that 
users find it difficult to 
remember a password unless it is 
something quite familiar to them - 
like their spouse's name, their 
dog or the street they live on. It 
was recently estimated that 
about 75% of ARPANET 
passwords could be discovered by 
trying these three choices. 
Choosing a less familiar name 
requires that it be written down. 
This, of course, is a security risk. 
As a result, password-only 
protection is fairly easy to defeat. 

Q. What is the advantage 
of external hardware keys over 
internal security boards? 
A, Some protection systems 
depend on circuit boards being 
installed inside the PC. In 
addition to objection to the 
expense of installation and 
training, many users are reluctant 
to open their PCs. IBM PS/2s and 
laptop PCs do not accept the 
standard add-in boards. As a 
result, nearly all PC users have a 
strong preference to the addition 
of low-cost external haixlware to 
achieve the desired protection. 

Q. Is the DES (Data Encryption 
Standard) government-specified 
algorithm available with the 
DataSentry system? 
A, Yes. The DES algorithm as 
defined by U.S. government 
standard FIPS 46 is implemented 
in the DataSentiy system. 

Q. Can the DataSentry system 
be used on local area networks? 
A, Yes. It can be used on LANS 
as long as the automatically 
protected files are stored on a 
local computer. It does not 
matter if the application is stored 
on the local PC, on a shared file 
server or on any other PC. 

Q. Can a DataSentry system be 
used to secure mainframe data 

A. Yes. The mainframe could 
send files to the PC for 
encrypting or decrypting. 

Q. What are some of the new 
special features of the 
DataSentry system? 
A, Audit trail, logon identifiers, 
and automatic encoption/de- 
ciyption of entire directories. 

lb consult Dr. Jennings and the 
DataSentry sales staff' about 
your personal data security 
questions, call Rainbow 
Technologies today. 


18011-A Mitchell South, Irvine, C A 92714 • (714)261-0228 • TELEX: 386078 • FAX: (714) 261 0260 

Rainbow Technologies, Ltd., Shirley Lodge, 470 London Rd., Slough, Berkshire, SL3 8QY, U.K., Tel: 0753-41512, Fax: 0753-43610 
® 1989 Rainbow Technologies. All product names are trademarks of their respective manufacturers. 

Circle 214 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 215) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 123 








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The Wat of Things 

There are many ways 
to accomplish 
something, but only 
a few of them are right 

Can computers spawn ideolo- 
gies? Can computer companies 
tread successfully on ground 
formerly held by philosophers 
and politicians? Can a corporate culture 
possibly exhibit a strong ethical and 
moral component? 

If you believe Guy Kawasaki, the 
answer is a resounding yes. Kawasaki, 
the president of software publisher 
Acius, has written a book about an im- 
portant aspect of Apple's corporate cul- 
ture: The Macintosh Way (Scott, Fores- 
man, 1989, $19.95). Although I was 
quite skeptical about any company (espe- 
cially a high-tech one) spawning a way of 
doing business that has a strong ethical 
and moral component, after reading this 
book, I've come around full circle. 

Although the book will likely be 
bought because it offers a frank discus- 
sion of Kawasaki's years at Apple and his 
own exposure to the Macintosh way of 
doing business, that's not the best reason 
to buy it. The Macintosh Way offers an 
important glimpse at how a corporate 
culture is created and spread, how it can 
be corrupted, and how you can take ad- 
vantage of it long after the original prod- 
uct on which it was based is history. 
Reading it will give you a very personal 
and insightful account of how to do busi- 
ness in today's Mac software market. 

The book makes a strong case for two 
simple precepts: doing the right things, 
and doing them the right way. I'm 
amazed at how many people in the com- 
puter business fail to look beyond the end 
of their respective bottom lines. As long 
as sales curves rise and profits are made, 
they're satisfied. That's really too bad. 


Among all the growing industries in 
this country, the computer companies 
should be setting the trends for corporate 
morality and ethical conduct, with their 
emphasis on empowering individuals 
with new and more powerful computing 
tools. Sadly, this isn't the case. Moral 
shortsightedness and ethical ignorance 
seem to run rampant in some computer 
companies, and corporate attorneys are 
left to find legal solutions for resulting 
problems. It's time that more companies 
paid attention to the lessons that The 
Macintosh Way teaches, rather than hid- 
ing behind a "well, that doesn't really 
apply to us" attitude. 

Besides its important lessons on doing 
the right things in the right way, The 
Macintosh Way also gives an insider's 
view of how Apple developed the way it 
has developed and how one entrepreneur 
decided to leave the relative safety of its 
corporate culture to run with a software 
idea he thought important. 

In fact, after rereading the book last 

night, I think that its lessons go way be- 
yond Apple and the Mac. 

Application Development Standards 

In the past few months, I've commented 
on what I think Apple needs to do to ex- 
tend the life span of the Finder and the 
Mac operating system well into the next 
decade. Although I'm sure that Apple is 
not waiting with bated breath to hear my 
further thoughts on the subject, one seg- 
ment of the Mac interface deserves 
Apple's special attention. The applica- 
tions that Apple creates (e.g., Hyper- 
Card) and the extensions it makes to the 
Finder, the MultiFinder, and the Mac 
operating system serve as the de facto 
and de jure standards that vendors follow 
when building their own applications. 
This situation bears a close examination. 
Conventional wisdom dictates that 
every Mac application should follow the 
standards set by those first two Mac ap- 
plications: MacWrite and MacPaint. 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 125 


That means that the first two menu-bar 
items are invariably File and Edit. That 
also means that the Quit command re- 
sides in the File menu, and it can be acti- 
vated by a Command-Q key combina- 
tion. Furthermore, Cut, Copy, Paste, 
Clear, and Select All reside in the Edit 
menu. But is this enough to ensure a 
good Mac application interface? 

I don't think so. Of course, Apple has 
published its application guidelines in the 
multi volume Inside Macintosh series, 
published by Addison-Wesley. Other 
Apple employees have extended the defi- 
nition of what constitutes a good Mac ap- 
plication interface in a variety of books 
published since 1984. Those efforts are 
all fine, and I don't have a problem with 
them. But I do have a problem with how 
these ideas are going to be extended on 
the one hand and controlled on the other, 
as the Finder and the Mac operating sys- 
tem move toward the 1990s. 

As I'm writing this, Apple has an- 
nounced its next-generation System soft- 
ware, version 7.0. At May's Worldwide 
Developer's Conference in San Jose, I 
heard about the features that Apple in- 
tends to include in System 7.0. Among 
the changes is a redesigned Finder that 
incorporates significant new interface 
hooks and a greater level of functional 
integration. It will also include support 
for E-mail, larger directories, networks, 
international scripts, and foreign file 
systems, while also being more extensi- 
ble. This prototype Finder supposedly 
organizes files along the lines of Apple- 
Share's Desktop Manager, which does a 
much better job than the current Finder 
at handling multiple large volumes. 

The new Finder is also supposed to in- 
clude many file management features 
borrowed from Unix, including file 
aliasing, so that you can open a file with 
a variety of applications directly from the 
Desktop, rather than opening the file 
within an application. This should make 
file organization much simpler. 

The point, though, is not how accurate 
this description is of future Apple system 
software. John Sculley has repeatedly 
announced that Apple intends to create a 
new operating system that depends on a 
brand-new system kernel that could be 
outfitted with different shells depending 
on the operating environment desired. 
The important point is what the changes 
to the Finder and its file management 
methods do to the standardization of Mac 
application interfaces. 

Will new Finders make that standard- 
ization harder or easier? How will Apple 
help developers maintain application in- 
terface consistency? If past experience is 


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Inquiry 1033. 

a guide, the future promises more confu- 
sion than clarity. As the Mac moves into 
its second five years, Apple needs to be a 
trendsetter for application developers, 
pointing the way toward sensible inter- 
face standards that vary according to the 
application, but retaining cross-applica- 
tion conventions where possible. As The 
Macintosh Way puts it, Apple needs to do 
the right thing in the right way. 


A look at some current Mac programs 
gives you some clue as to how application 
interface standards can get corrupted. 
I'm writing this column using the Nisus 
word processor. Nisus follows the inter- 
face ideas first established by Mac Write 
pretty closely. One look at the Nisus 
menu bar confirms this: It has File, Edit, 
Search, Tools, Font, Size, and Style se- 
lections. The Quit command resides 
withintheFile menu andean be activated 
via either the menu bar or the Command- 
Q key combination. Cut, Copy, Paste, 
Clear, and Select All reside (as they 
should) in the Edit menu. The Font menu 
contains all the available fonts, while the 
Size and Style menus modify the charac- 
teristics of the current typeface. 

The upshot of all this is that you know 
how to use Nisus without opening the 
user's manual. That's the way it should 
be, and it's the reason I love the Mac. I 
can spend my time computing with the 
Mac, rather than learning an application. 
But what's going to happen with these 
kinds of interface standards when Apple 
extends the Finder and makes it more 

Even with the present Finder and its 
allied set of interface conventions, appli- 
cations can quickly diverge from ac- 
cepted standards. Microsoft Word 3.02 
is a case in point, with its Short and Full 

menu settings. These settings change 
what is available under each menu-bar 
listing, rather than just dimming those 
items that are unavailable. 

You'd be surprised at how many peo- 
ple call me up and ask how they can in- 
stall all their system fonts for use in 
Word. They tell me that they have 20 
fonts installed in their System file that 
they can use in MacWrite or WriteNow, 
but only five of them show up in Word's 
Font menu. The problem, of course, is 
that they've selected Short menus as their 
default setting. This eliminates all but 
the five most commonly used fonts from 
the Font menu and causes a great deal of 
confusion, especially among new users. 

What Apple Should Do 

I'm lousy at predicting the future, but I 
know that Apple can do a lot toward en- 
suring a future that makes consistent 
user interfaces easy for application de- 
velopers to incorporate. First, Apple 
should show developers exactly how to 
use the new Finder features in its Tech 
Notes series. Second, Apple should mod- 
ify MPW and MacApp (perhaps with an 
MPW version 4.0) to include the inter- 
face extensions that Apple would like to 
see in other Mac applications. 

Third, Apple should publish a new 
series of books (perhaps through its pub- 
lishing arrangement with Addison-Wes- 
ley) devoted to incorporating what Apple 
thinks is a standard user interface for ap- 
plications. Naturally, those interface 
standards will vary according to the kind 
of application. For example, things that 
would be interface oddities in a CAD 
program (e.g. , a separate menu entry for 
text searching) make perfectly good 
sense in a word processing program. 

As Apple moves toward a more inte- 
grated Finder that controls the Mac with- 
out the assistance of desk accessories and 
small applications like the Font/DA 
Mover, Mac software developers will 
have to pay special attention to establish- 
ing new application interface standards 
and sticking with them, even when "hot" 
new ideas argue for violation of those 
standards. In the past, these hot ideas 
have produced dubious software achieve- 
ments like the Short and Full menus of 
Word, the many interface anomalies of 
Lotus's failed Jazz program, and the 
quirkiness of chart manipulation in 
Microsoft's Excel. ■ 

Don Crabb is the director of laboratories 
and a senior lecturer for the computer 
science department at the University of 
Chicago. He can be reached on BIX as 

126 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Enter The New Age of Electronic CAD 

The wait is over for a powerful, easy to use electronic design workstation. 

With the new Douglas CAD/CAM 
Professional System, you can now experience 
computer-aided design without going over 
budget and without sitting through months of 
tedious training. Running on the Apple 
Macintosh Plus, SE and II, the Professional 
System from Douglas Electronics excels 
in price/performance, short learning curves 
and ease of use. 

As the newest addition to the Douglas 
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sional System is a fully integrated engineering 
tool that will take you from the schematic 
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layers and .001" control which makes surface 
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generation. A flexible, multi-pass router 
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The new age of electronic CAD has come 
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In addition, the Macintosh's graphics capa- 

Circle 457 on Reader Service Card 

bilities allow for powerful features such 
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Computer-aided design wasn't meant to be 
time consuming and complicated. If your 
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it may be time you enter the new age of 
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Take your first step by ordering a full- 
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Call or write for more information and to 
place your order. 



©1988 Douglas Electronics Photography: © 1987 Ted Jew Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 

718 Marina Blvd. 

San Leandro, CA 94577 

(415) 483-8770 

J^'V,^ , :: ": 

Aw . • .What the Heck! 


DesignCAD 3-D version 2.0 is as powerful 
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Just because DesignCAD 3-D is powerful doesn't 
mean it is difficult to use. Single keystroke com- 
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snap to use! While not required, DesignCAD 3-D 
supports all popular digitizers and mice. 
Many of the older, more cumbersome CAD systems 
require weeks of training before a user can be 
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producing useful drawings in a matter of minutes! 
In a recent CAD contest only one contestant was 
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Still don't believe us? The goblet pictured below 
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only $399! 


The first question asked by many people is, 
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answer? After developing DesignCAD 3-D 
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There is a very important reason to buy DesignCAD 
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"Allows scientists and engineers to expend minimum 
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presentto management all views of a subject (3-D)." 

DR. STEVENS. NASA Space Scientist/Engineer 


DesignCAD 3-D version 2.0 is available from most retail computer stores, or you may order directly from us. 
DesignCAD 3-D is available in a number of foreign languages from distributors throughout the world. All you 
need to run DesignCAD 3-D is an IBM PC Compatible and 640K RAM. DesignCAD 3-D supports most graphics 
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Small Business Computers, Inc. 

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FAX: 01-918-825-6359 

TELEX: 9102400302 

128 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

Circle 20 on Reader Service Card 


Mark Minasi 

Spring Comdex: 

Glimmers of Acceptance 

OS/2 may take 
the world by storm 
after all 

Spring Comdex took place in Chi- 
cago this year. That transformed 
it, as Wayne Rash put it, into 
Winter Comdex, because it actu- 
ally snowed on Sunday. Some people 
blamed the snow on the return of a Daley 
to the mayoralty. Others wanted to blame 
Comdex's organizers, the Interface 
Group. But I've spent a lot of time in Chi- 
cago. I knew it was just April and came 

Microrim and Logitech announced ex- 
citing new OS/2 products. Also, many 
more OS/2 applications are actually 
shipping. Some are still late, like Micro- 
soft Word (at least at this writing; it 
should be out by the time you read this). 
WordPerfect filled the gap with a full- 
featured version 5.0 for OS/2. Despite 
growing OS/2 acceptance, several im- 
portant applications appeared under 
DOS extenders rather than OS/2. And 
industry officials beat the drum for 
OS/2, of course. 

The First PM Screen Generator 

Microrim was one of the first companies 
with an OS/2 product, Ribase Series 
5000. Now it's offering a completely 
new database product called Atlas, in- 
tended to manage complicated database 
relationships and integrate databases 
from places as disparate as a Macintosh 
or a mainframe DB2/SQL database. Mi- 
crorim says that Atlas will be available 
for the Presentation Manager (PM), the 
Mac, Sun workstations, and AlX-based 
systems. The company also indicates that 
Atlas will understand graphics images in 
its database. 

The feature that interested me, how- 
ever, was the screen generator. Like the 

applications generator in R:base, Atlas 
will have a simple way to generate user 
input screens. No big deal, right? Right, 
until you realize that this can generate a 
complete PM screen— including buttons, 
radio buttons, dialog boxes, and all the 
rest of the PM notions! 

Microrim says it won't have the PM 
version ready until the end of the year, 
and I'd be surprised if it can finish some- 
thing that big by then. However, some of 
the screen generator does work, and I 
was able to put together a PM screen in a 
few minutes. (When a screen is trans- 
ported to the Mac, it even translates 
items like buttons and slider bars to items 
from the Mac metaphor.) I've been com- 
plaining that we need something that lets 
normal mortals design PM-type applica- 
tions. Atlas could be it, provided it ships 
early enough. 


Developers the world over know Code- 
View. Microsoft offered it several years 

ago, and it's still the software-based de- 
bugger of choice for many folks. Now it 
has some competitors, all claiming to be 
"CodeView killers." (Why do we use 
such violent language in this business?) 
Some are marginally better, but Logi- 
tech may have a product that can do the 
job. It's called Multiscope. 

Multiscope does everything that 
CodeView does, and much more. It has a 
real-time debugger that works the way 
CodeView works: You run the program 
to be debugged under the real-time Mul- 
tiscope, and you can set breakpoints 
(places where the application should 
yield control back to the debugger so that 
you can examine variables and registers) 
and "watch" windows where a variable's 
value is continuously monitored in a win- 
dow. Multiscope also has some fairly so- 
phisticated abilities to use conditional 
breakpoints (stop whenever variable IS- 
READY changes), something I find I use 
all the time when debugging. 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 129 

Circle 104 on Reader Service Card 



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All that is only mildly more powerful 
than CodeView. The neat stuff starts 
with the postmortem debugger (see, an- 
other violent metaphor). If a program 
dies unexpectedly under many debug- 
gers, you just get dumped into the debug- 
ger's main menu. Instead of that, Multi- 
scope's postmortem debugger lets you 
see everything that led to the untimely 
demise of your program: 1 One window 
shows why it stopped, you see the assem- 
bly language or source code in another 
window, and the sequence of called rou- 
tines is in another. 

Multiscope can also isolate and debug 
individual threads. Although I haven't 
said much about them so far, threads are 
the basis of OS/2's multitasking capabil- 
ity. An OS/2 program can be made up of 
a number of threads; OS/2 gives each 
thread, in turn, a slice of the processor's 
time. Multiscope's ability to focus on a 
particular thread of execution is an im- 
portant feature. 

C programmers will love Multiscope's 
graphical representation of pointers. The 
tough part of data manipulation in C is 
getting used to the notion that you're not 
dealing with data structures, but often 
indirect references to data structures 
called pointers. In some cases, C pro- 
grammers find themselves with pointers 
that lead to other pointers, which in turn 
lead to other pointers, which finally lead 


Designer 2.0 $695 

Micrografx, Inc. 
1 303 East Arapaho 
Richardson, TX 75081 
Inquiry 1021. 

GML/PC $995 

Command Technology Corp. 
1900 Mountain Blvd. 
Oakland, CA 946 11 
(415) 339-3530 
Inquiry 1022. 

Multiscope $395 

Logitech International SA 
6505 Kaiser Dr. 
Fremont, CA 94555 
(415) 795-8500 
Inquiry 1023. 

WordPerfect 5.0 $495 

WordPerfect Corp. 

1 555 North Technology Way 

Orem, UT 84057 


Inquiry 1024. 


can also isolate 
and debug individual 

to a data structure. This takes some get- 
ting used to. 

The folks who advocate graphical user 
interfaces (GUIs) often cite the old saw 
that "a picture is worth a thousand 
words." In this case, it's worth probably 
ten thousand words. Multiscope actually 
draws a picture of a program's pointers. 
Logitech demonstrates this with some 
source code that is absolutely impenetra- 
ble—pointers to pointers to. . . . How- 
ever, the graphic representation clears it 
up immediately. 

This is, of course, only a brief over- 
view of the things that Multiscope can 
do. It's arranged so that all these win- 
dows are PM windows, so you can ar- 
range them as you like or collapse any of 
them to icons. Oh, and I almost forgot, 
you can use Multiscope as a PM debug- 
ger. PM is tough to write code for. The 
essence of PM is the user interface, so it 
kind of ruins the effect while developing 
if half the screen contains debugging 

Facing a similar problem in the Mac 
world, Apple originally counseled devel- 
opers to buy two Macs for development- 
one to run the program, the other to 
display the debugging information. It 
sounds goofy, but it's the fastest way to 
develop GUI-type code. 

Windows has a feature wherein you 
can shoot debugging information out the 
serial port to a dumb terminal or a PC 
behaving like a dumb terminal, a great 
help to Windows developers. Now you 
can't do that for PM, unfortunately, but 
Logitech does the next best thing: Just 
run a null modem cable between two PM 
machines, and the second becomes the 
debugger. The first is, of course, the de- 
bugger (I couldn't resist.) That's my 
biggest gripe with Multiscope. Why not 
just send out simple line-oriented asyn- 
chronous messages? That way, the other- 
wise-useless PCs that are lying around an 
OS/2 developer's shop could earn their 
keep as recipients of debugging informa- 
tion. Please, Logitech— it's a nice prod- 
uct now, but you could make it a killer. 


¥>u know 
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your company 
wants ina 
color printer. 

Circle 113 on Reader Service Card AUGUST 1989 • B Y T E 131 

Circle 44 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 45) 



is the answer. 

BVTE May 1989 


MultiBoot Brings OS/2 
Back to Earth 

Bolt Systems has come to the rescue with 
a program called MultiBoot, which does 
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MultiBoot is simple, inexpensive, and 
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example of a utility thatfills a much-needed 

-Stan Miastkowski 


Once you've spentthousonds of dollars on 
OS/2 and an OS/2-ready work station, 
what's onother $49.95 to have easy access to 
DOS? Highly recommended. 

-Mark Minasi 

Not all DOS programs work in the OS/2 
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Systems Inc. 

Other OS/2 Applications 

Mark Mackaman of Microsoft told the 
audience at the "OS/2 Update" session 
that there are currently 850 announced 
OS/2 applications, 370 of which are ship- 
ping now ("now," recall, is mid-April). 
The audience chuckled when he then an- 
nouncedthat "three of theseareevenPM 

WordPerfect Corp. showed its charac- 
ter-based implementation of WordPer- 
fect 5.0 under OS/2. It seems to have all 
the features of the DOS version, includ- 
ing the ability to seemingly talk to all 
graphics formats possible. 

Micrograf x again showed beta copies 
of Designer 2.0 under PM. Designer is 
the application that you show your Mac- 
using friends when they start talking 
about all the neat things that they can do 
with their machines and MacPaint that 
you can't do with the PC. 

I'm not really the person to comment 
on the power of Designer, because I use it 
to draw fairly simple pictures. But I'm 
happy with it, and even happier with ver- 
sion 2.0 under DOS. (I'll report on the 
OS/2 version as soon as I can get a copy 
of it.) Probably the neatest thing is an 
auto-outline feature that reads in a 
scanned TIFF file and converts it to a 
line drawing. 

Desktop Publishing 

I have said in earlier columns that the 
first big class of OS/2 applications to 
come along would be databases, and that 
certainly has come true: Just about any 
database vendor that you care to name 
has an OS/2 implementation (save Ash- 
tonTate, and it won't be far behind). But 
I never guessed that the second class 
would be, of all things, desktop publish- 
ing systems. It's a reasonable fit in hind- 
sight: Desktop publishing needs a graph- 
ics platform and gobs of memory, so it 
and the PM are a natural match. 

I have mentioned in passing a desktop 
publishing system that I've been using 
since December, one that I'm happy 
with. However, I've been a might remiss 
in naming names. 

Command Technology Corp. has for 
years marketed a PC implementation of a 
mainframe document-preparation lan- 
guage called Script or GML (General 
Markup Language). It originally inter- 
ested me because it does not come with 
an editor and can use about any editor 
that can write ASCII text files. This 
means that I can generate documents that 
are useful in both the mainframe envi- 
ronments of my clients and the PC envi- 
ronment of my company. 

It's fast and very powerful. It contains 

a sophisticated macro language, so you 
can make it do almost anything that you 
need it to do. It reads Designer or PC 
Paintbrush files and can be coerced to 
use a host of others. The package, called 
GML/PC, is a character-mode applica- 
tion, because it is not WYSIWYG except 
for a VGA preview feature that I find to 
be a bit slow and tend not to use. It is 
shipped with a DOS version, an OS/2 
version, and a 32-bit DOS-extender ver- 
sion for 80386 machines. 

CTC was the first, but it's not alone. 
Lennane Advanced Products showed a 
fairly stable desktop publishing system 
called DeScribe that it will ship in the 
third quarter of this year, which is Com- 
dexese for at the end of September. It is 
an integrated package, but it will write 
out GML text if asked, so I intend to use 
it as a preview-and-edit package in com- 
bination with GML/PC. The editor is a 
WYSIWYG-type editor with the Choice 
Words spelling checker built into it. 

Xerox was showing Ventura Publisher 
2.0 for PM, and everyone selling a ver- 
sion of PM was using a beta Aldus Page- 
Maker as a demonstration application. 
Xerox says it will ship Ventura Publisher 
at the end of the year, but it may be out by 
the end of September. As soon as I can 
get hold of these packages, I'll compare 
them in this column. 

These packages (except for GML/PC) 
will be in dire straits, however, if some 
printer drivers don't show up pretty 
soon. There was a lot of talk about a Post- 
Script driver coming soon and some talk 
of a LaserJet-compatible Printer Com- 
mand Language driver by Christmas, al- 
though the PCL driver would not support 
graphics in its early versions. Strangely 
enough, the Hewlett-Packard people that 
I talked to believed that it wasn't HP's re- 
sponsibility to develop the drivers, say- 
ing that it was up to Microsoft and IBM. 
That's an unfortunate attitude, particu- 
larly if it means that we're going to be 
waiting until the middle of 1990 for 
graphics drivers for our LaserJets. Per- 
haps Microsoft and IBM will get the 
drivers out, or perhaps a third party will 
(hint, hint) see the enormous amount of 
money to be made writing a good PM 
driver for PCL. ■ 

Mark Minasi is a managing partner at 
Moulton, Minasi & Company, a Colum- 
bia, Maryland, firm specializing in tech- 
nical seminars. He can be reached on 
BIX as 'mjminasi." 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

132 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

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NETWORKS James Y. Bryce 


Growing Pains 

The LAN operating 
system you choose 
can spell the difference 
between control 
and chaos as your 
network expands 

Network operating systems are 
made up of many elements that 
must work together. But when 
you're planning for future net- 
work growth, the architecture of two 
components— the LAN's administrative 
controls and network object identity— are 

The design of network operating sys- 
tems rests on a few fundamentally dif- 
ferent theoretical premises that affect 
their ease of use and adaptability to out- 
side connection. While many other char- 
acteristics affect network growth, ad- 
ministrative controls and network object 
identity are so fundamental that they're 
easy to overlook when you're facing the 
plethora of detail streaming from ven- 
dors' advertising or engineering depart- 

Maintaining Control 

Control refers to the largest possible unit 
of a network that you can configure with 
respect to network resources. The larger 
the unit that you can configure, the 
larger the network can grow without be- 
coming unmanageable. There are three 
levels of control: workstation, server, 
and network. 

At a minimum, a network must pro- 
vide for control on a workstation-by- 
workstation basis. If all the control pos- 
sible under the network operating system 
is vested solely in the workstations, then 
you can place the information regarding 
user names, rights, files, pathways, and 

security only within each workstation, 
and the ability to change this configura- 
tion is generally open to all or most users 
of the system as they log on at any given 
workstation. The system administrator 
must make system configuration changes 
by going to all workstations that are to 
have shared resources and changing the 
necessary pathways, ports, and so forth. 
The original version of the IBM PC LAN 
Program is an example of a network op- 
erating system that uses workstation- 
level control. 

A network configuration is server- 
controlled when servers on the network 
store information regarding user names, 
rights, files, pathways, and security, and 
the ability to change this configuration is 
restricted to those administrators and 
users who are defined as having this right 
of control. In this model, a change in net- 
work configuration often requires a visit 
to every server in the network or, at the 
least, remote log-on as the supervisor of 
each server to make the changes at each 

server. Novell's NetWare 286 is a good 
example of a network operating system 
that uses server-based control. 

In the third category of control, over- 
all network administration, the network 
software recognizes the network as a 
whole, and a single user can administer 
the network from a single point. The net- 
work administrator has control over the 
entire network configuration, regardless 
of the number of servers and worksta- 
tions or their location. 3Com's 3 + Open, 
Banyan's VINES, and Torus's Tapestry 
II all support network-level control. 

Another name for network control is 
domain management. Usually, one com- 
puter on the network, designated as the 
domain manager, stores the overall con- 
figuration, identity of objects (using the 
naming conventions that are discussed 
later), and information on resources out- 
side the boundaries of the domain to pro- 
vide transparent communication to other 
domains. You can construct a domain 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 135 


based on physical boundaries, or you can 
establish it using logical groups of users, 
independent of the network's physical 
layout. The domain concept is most com- 
mon in large, multiserver LANs. 

Pathways vs. Names 

Identity speaks to the means by which 
the network identifies objects. An object 
is any entity that the network needs to 
identify. Workstations, printers, and 
servers are objects, but so are somewhat 
more abstract items, such as users and 
administrators, directories, files, and the 
configuration of the network itself. LAN 
operating systems maintain the identity 
of objects via a pathway or a name. 

A network configuration maintains 
identity of objects within it by pathway if 
access to a given object from any other 
object requires a statement of the paths, 
routes, trees, or other structures that the 
network operating system must traverse 
to find the object sought. This is the tra- 
ditional means of describing objects in 
computing systems based on terminal 
and host structures. A typical network 
using pathway identity might describe an 
item of information as Serverl\SYS- 
:Root\Apps\Spsht\Lotus\l23- No- 
vell's NetWare 286 uses pathway identity 

Pathway identity schemes are ac- 
ceptable in smaller environments when 
the network configuration doesn't 
change very often. However, in large, 
multiserver LANs, or even in small 
LANs where user moves and changes are 
frequent, this technique becomes in- 

Ancient peoples believed that knowl- 
edge of a name gave one power. In a sim- 
ilar fashion, naming conventions in com- 
puter networks give users power. A 
network maintains the identity of objects 
within it by name if access to a given ob- 
ject from any other object requires only 
that the user state the name of the object 


naming lets you create 

similar names but 
distinguishes between 
them by relating each 
one to something else. 

sought. This technique provides the most 
power in distributed computer networks. 
Several methods may be used to name 
the objects that the network must manip- 

Absolute naming provides a unique 
name for each object across the entire 
network and all networks to which it is 
attached. Just as, in the case of social se- 
curity, no two people have the same 
number, so here, no two objects have the 
same name. And unlike pathway identi- 
ties, the name remains the same wherev- 

er the person goes. 

Relative naming lets you create simi- 
lar names but distinguishes between 
them by relating each one to something 
else. For example, there are many people 
named John Smith, but relating the name 
to a street address and a city provides a 
relative description that removes the am- 

The absolute convention encourages 
centralization and is the form often 
found in traditional data-processing en- 
vironments. The relative convention en- 
courages decentralization but requires a 
system that will look up the names in 
their relative context. 

Hierarchical naming adds a layer of 
structure to naming. It lets you embed 
both absolute and relative naming func- 
tions. You can add more levels of hierar- 
chical naming if needed. The telephone 
system is a good example of hierarchical 
naming. Each locale has telephone ex- 
changes and numbers. At the regional 
level, there are area codes. Finally, in- 
ternational calling adds country codes. 
This illustration demonstrates the utility 
of hierarchical naming for combining 

For a naming system of any size to 
work, there must be some device or set of 
devices that contain the names and pro- 
vide appropriate mappings with objects. 
At the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center 
(PARC), which conducted pioneering re- 
search that established the basis of dis- 
tributed processing, such a device is 
called a clearinghouse. 

Names consist of three parts: local 



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name, domain, and organization. With 
just this three-part name, users can iden- 
tify and locate any object in any network. 
The syntax generally looks like this: 

You could identify a user in such a net- 
work as JohnSmith@Marketing@Great- 
er Tuna, Inc. He could have alias names 
such as John and JS. The administrator 
might refer to a physical resource as 
Tuna, Inc. And information might be 
designated as Budgetl988@Market- 
ing@Greater Tuna, Inc. 

The mechanical process involves es- 
tablishing a clearinghouse, usually 
called a name server. This is simply a 
server running a database that relates the 
name with the pathway to find the object. 
Thus, any reconfiguration, which in- 
volves moving objects around, need only 
change the one reference in the name ser- 
vice at the name server. 

Contrast this with an identification 
technique based only on the pathway. In 
such a system, a reconfiguration would 
have to seek out every reference to the 
now-changed pathway and alter it— good 
luck in a network with hundreds of work- 

stations, users, and servers. Banyan's 
VINES and 3Com's 3+ both use three- 
part naming techniques. Torus bases its 
product on icons associated with objects, 
through a library service; this is analo- 
gous to the name/clearinghouse concept. 

Strengths, Weaknesses, 
and Changes 

A network operating system based only 
on workstation control simply can't pro- 
vide the management and consistency of 
configuration that are needed to provide 
a stable network environment for more 
than a handful of workstations. Al- 
though the original IBM PC LAN Pro- 
gram has this limitation, version 1.3 of 
PC LAN Program and the newly emerg- 
ing LAN Server, IBM's OS/2 LAN 
Manager-based network operating sys- 
tem, use what IBM calls Domain Man- 
agement to achieve network control. The 
new system also has a name identity 

A network operating system based on 
server control provides an excellent sin- 
gle-server network, but the need to ad- 
minister several servers becomes an 
overwhelming headache. Novell is aware 

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of this limitation in NetWare, as well as 
similar difficulties that arise from 
NetWare's lack of a name service. This 
problem arose historically because 
NetWare's designers conceived of PC 
LANs as single-server systems much like 
minicomputers; they never anticipated 
the advent of larger multiserver networks 
that need easy, flexible control and iden- 
tity methods. 

NetWare is an elaborate product based 
on proprietary coding down to the ma- 
chine code level; total redesign will take 
time. Eventual upgrades to NetWare 
should provide network-level control and 
name identity. 

Network control gives the best possi- 
ble environment for growth. A net- 
worked system may start with only one 
server and grow to tens or possibly hun- 
dreds, assuming that there is a consistent 
method of control. The added protection 
and power of machines based on the Intel 
80386, Motorola 68030, Sun SPARC, 
and others will provide complex com- 
bined workstation/server systems that 
challenge even the best designs. Com- 
bine this with a name service, and ad- 
ministration is eased substantially. Both 
Banyan and 3Com historically benefited 
from their designers' early involvement 
in the initial research for such networks 
at Xerox PARC. 

There is, however, one serious prob- 
lem that still lies within name service- 
based systems (and within systems that 
are dependent on a single physical device 
for overall management): What happens 
if the name service (or the domain man- 
agement device) fails? 3Com implements 
the name service in a single server; loss 
of that server leads to loss of the entire 
network. Most large 3Com installations 
maintain a "hot spare" for the name 
server. Banyan distributes the name ser- 
vice over several servers, but the service 
isn't redundant; loss of any server loses a 
portion of the name service. The final 
solution for large systems is a totally re- 
dundant name service and domain man- 
agement service. Providing these capa- 
bilities will be the next major push in the 
LAN operating-system market. ■ 

James Y. Bryce is an independent net- 
work consultant and author living in Aus- 
tin, Texas. He is the author of the forth- 
coming Networking Personal Comput- 
ers: The Total Context (New York: Van 
Nostrand Reinhold). You can reach him 
on BIXc/o " editors. " 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

138 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

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Product Focus ■ 80386 Portables 


Desktop Power 
to Go 

The BYTE Lab 
sizes up 1 1 of the best 
80386 portables 

Stanford Diehl 
and Stan Wszola 

n the past, when you grabbed your 
portable computer and hit the road, 
you left a lot behind in your desktop 
computer. Portability was inversely 
proportional to computing power. That's 
not the case anymore. Modern portables 
offer fast CPUs, plenty of RAM, big 
hard disk drives, and enough options for 
almost any computing situation. 

The new line of portable powerhouses 
blurs yet another distinction in the evolv- 
ing computer world. You no longer need 
to choose between portable convenience 
and desktop power; today's portables de- 
liver both. Even the distinction between 
portables and workstations is fading. De- 
signers keep packing more features and 
firepower into an ever-shrinking shell. 

Portable computer vendors have de- 
vised many variations on a common 
theme. This month, we'll look at 11 of 
the most powerful computers currently 
available: the Compaq Portable 386 
Model 40, the Dolch-P.A.C. 386-25, the 
GRiDCase 1530 and 1535 EXP, the IBM 
PS/2 Model P70 386, the Micro Express 
Regal II, the NEC PowerMate Portable 
SX and ProSpeed 386, the Toshiba 
T5100 and T5200, and the Zenith 
TurbosPort 386. Each machine offers a 
unique combination of computing power 
and portable convenience (see table 1). 

No More Trade-Offs 

Since the very first portable computer 
appeared, buyers have always had to 

142 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 

weigh the importance of small size and 
weight versus computing power. If you 
wanted a powerful computer, you had to 
accept bulk. Lightweight portables usu- 
ally lacked power. 

But an amazing evolution has occurred 
in portable computers. By means of 
smaller components, better batteries, 
and VLSI surface-mount technology, to- 
day's portables squeeze more computer 
into smaller packages. For example, one 
of the first portable computers, the Os- 
borne 1, weighed 23^2 pounds. It was a 
CP/M system with 64K bytes of RAM, a 
CRT display, and dual floppy disk 
drives. Today's portables pack 1 or more 
megabytes of RAM, up to 170 megabytes 
of hard disk drive storage, high-resolu- 
tion displays, and your choice of DOS, 
OS/2, or Unix into even smaller and 
lighter packages. 

Even though these new computers are 
lighter, ranging from 12V2 pounds for the 
GRiDCase 1535 EXP with its magne- 
sium case to the Micro Express Regal II 
at a hefty 22% pounds, most people don't 
carry a "naked" computer. Add the 
weight of a carrying case, an AC power 
supply, a spare battery, a modem, blank 
floppy disks, and assorted hardware and 
software manuals, and you have enough 
weight to make a business trip an endur- 
ance contest. The Traveling Weight col- 
umn in table 1, which is the sum of the 
weights of the computer, the case, and 
essential accessories, is our idea of a 
more realistic weight. 

Most portable machines fall into two 
design groups: the large lunch box (e.g., 
the Compaq and IBM) or the clamshell 
(e. g . , the Toshibas and the Zenith). With 
its detachable keyboard, the lunch box 
style works best on a desktop, while the 
clamshell models can sit on your lap. In 
terms of functionality, both designs can 
get the job done. 

Power for the Road 

For those portables that use batteries, the 
power source of choice is the nickel-cad- 

mium cell. It provides a relatively steady 
voltage per charge, and it recharges eas- 
ily. One disadvantage, however, is that it 
can develop a "charge memory." Re- 
peated recharging when a battery is only 
partially discharged can render a nickel- 
cadmium battery pack incapable of being 
fully charged. Most portable manufac- 
turers recommend that you discharge the 
batteries as much as possible before re- 

Most portables can run on internal 
batteries for 2 to 3 hours, depending on 
the size of the battery pack. The Zenith 
TurbosPort 3 86 extends battery life 
through a built-in monitor program. This 
ROM-based program lets you enter the 
number of seconds that the hard disk 
drive runs after the last disk access and 
the amount of time that the LCD back- 
light remains on if there is no keyboard 
activity. The monitor program will 
power down these sections of the com- 
puter to conserve battery power. 

Picture This 

Displays for high-end portables fall into 
two groups: LCD or gas-plasma/electro- 
luminescent (ELDs). The photo on page 
144 shows a sample of both. 

LCD screens are popular because of 
their light weight and low power require- 
ments. An LCD is a reflective screen; 
the individual pixels in the screen work 
like a set of light shutters. They control 
whether light is absorbed (producing a 
dark spot on the display) or whether light 
is reflected (producing a light spot). Un- 
fortunately, the LCD scheme lacks sharp 
contrast between the dark spots (text and 
graphics) and the lighter background. 
This caused serious problems with early 
LCD screens. You needed good ambient 
illumination for comfortable viewing. 
Portable designers have overcome that 
problem by using fluorescent backlight- 
ing for their LCD screens. The back- 
lighting increases the apparent contrast 
between the text and the background 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 143 

Table 1: 80386 portable features and conventional benchmark results. For the Livermore Loops and Dhry stone tests only, higher 
numbers mean faster performance. UNPACK and Livermore Loops benchmarks are in seconds; Dhry stone benchmarks are in 
Dhry stones per second. Prices are for base models not including options. The weight for each portable includes the battery or 
AC power adapter. The Traveling Weight includes the optional case, battery and/or AC adapter, power cord, modem cord, 
external monitor cable, and four floppy disks. For a full description of all the benchmarks, see "Introducing the New BYTE 
Benchmarks, " June 1988 BYTE. 


Price CPU speed Conventional benchmarks 

Display/mode Memory (Mb) Floppy 
Std./Max. disk drive 1 

LIN PACK Livermore Dhrystone 

Compaq Portable 386 








5 1 /4-inch 

Model 40 

Dolch-P.A.C. 386-25 








5 1 /4-inch 







Backlit LCD/CGA; 
gas-plasma/CGA opt. 


3 1 /2-inch 

GRiDCase 1535 EXP 






Backlit LCD/CGA; 
gas-plasma/CGA opt. 



IBM PS/2 Model P70 386 









Micro Express Regal II 








5 1 /4-inch 

NEC PowerMate 









Portable SX 

NEC ProSpeed 386 






Backlit LCD/VGA 



Toshiba T5100 









Toshiba T5200 









Zenith TurbosPort 386 






Backlit LCD/CGA 


3 1 /2-inch 

^/(-inch floppy disk drive = 1 .2-megabyte; 3 1 /2-inch floppy disk drive = 1 .44-megabyte. 
*NC= Nickel-cadmium. 
N/A=Not available. 

Mint: A:\3B61aptp.doc 


12,6153 1 




tad uf h usir uf ylass plates. The inside uf e-iie uf 
of transparent electrudus ami the nl; 
iul.1 iimj iinTiing a griil . Between the plates is neo 
applied to the electrodes the neun gas limited at 

FjM flF l,UMUu ff ^ 

:i.Us arc slfUIir to plasraa displays, hut instead of a gas, they use a dielectric 
tluii Filn sainkich that contains a layer uf nanganese duped zinc sulfide thai f 
ouresccs in the presence nf an AC voltage. ELOs use slightly less power than pi 
sna displays, and they are nore rugged, hut they cost nore to oanufacture. 

the sane same prohlcn that LCDs have. I 
Thev too nust resnrttn color nap ping t 

7333333 "■■ •'■■I lojQJQl 

View: A:\386Iaptp.doc 

Displays tor lugir-end laptops Tall into tun categories: Liquid Crystal Display ( 
LCD) or ijas plasna/electroluninescent displays. Both types haue advantages and & 
[^advantages . 

CD screens are popular because they are I ightueight and rerpiire little pouer. fi 
n LCI is a reflective screen; the individual pixels in the screen uork like a se 
L of light shutters. They contrdl uliether light is Absorbed, producing a dark sp 

I on the display or uhether light is reflected, producing a light spot. One of 
the prohlens uitli LCD's is that the contrast betueen the dark spots (text and gr 
aphics) and the lighter background is lou. 

Hiis u<is ii serious prohlen uith preuious LCD screens, you needed good anbienl il 
luni nation for confortable vieuing. Portable designers haue overcone that probk 
by using fluorescent backlighting for their LCD screen. The backlighting incre 
ases the apparent contrast betueen the text and the background ureas on the sere 
en and lets you see the display even in a darkened roon. But, the backlighting d 
3es require nore pouer. 

CD screens are nore suited touard single users. The vieuing angle is narrou: 
jroup of people Iwv^ difficulty looking at an LCD screen. The best vicu is direc 
hj in front of the screen. 

mother p rnhlun t s- that c urrent ly dua li ab le LCD s creens a re non ochronatie. The rj 

■ '■ ■ <■■ ''■■ !'■■ ''2SSS ■*■ "HD ioS 

Portable computer screen displays. A sample of the two principal technologies: the Toshiba T5200 gas- plasma display (left) 
and the Zenith TurbosPort backlit LCD (right). 

areas on the screen and lets you see the 
display even in a darkened room. But the 
backlighting requires more power. 

LCD screens are more suited to single 
users. Since the viewing angle is narrow, 
a group of people have difficulty looking 
at an LCD display. The best view is from 

directly in front of the screen. 

Another problem is that currently 
available LCD screens are monochro- 
matic. The gray scale available on an 
LCD is very limited. When you run soft- 
ware that depends on a color display, the 
display circuitry must resort to color 

mapping to present different colors as 
contrasting graphics patterns. Color 
LCD screens have arrived (e.g., on the 
Sharp PC-8000), but they are not yet 
widely available. 

LCD screens are also slower than gas- 
plasma or CRT displays. The individual 

144 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

Hard disk 


Size (inches) 




drive (Mb) 



40 or 100 





40, 80, or 100 





20,40, or 100 

NC 2 




Magnesium case 


NC 2 

11.5x15.1 x2.5 



Magnesium case 












Four months 
on-site service 






40 or 100 

NC 2 




Bundled with 

40 or 100 





Bundled with 






82385 cache 
controller; 32K- 
byte static RAM 


NC 2 





Power Manager 

pixels in LCDs are electrochemical de- 
vices that require an appreciable fraction 
of a second to turn on or off. They are not 
ideal for use with animated graphics 
software or games. 

Gas-plasma displays and ELDs are at- 
tractive for portable computers. These 
screens offer high contrast, a wide view- 
ing angle, and good speed. You pay more 
for these features, and both types of dis- 
plays require more power compared to 

Gas-plasma displays are composed of 
a pair of glass plates. The inside of one of 
the plates is coated with a horizontal set 
of transparent electrodes, while the other 
plate has vertical electrodes, thus form- 
ing a grid. Neon gas floats between the 
plates. When a high voltage is applied to 
the electrodes, the neon gas located at the 
intersection of any electrodes in the grid 
is ionized and becomes a glowing plas- 
ma. These glowing points of neon plas- 
ma produce the illuminated pixels on the 

ELDs are similar to gas-plasma dis- 
plays, but instead of a gas they use a di- 
electric thin-film sandwich that contains 
a layer of manganese-doped zinc sulfide 
that fluoresces in the presence of AC 

voltage. ELDs use slightly less power 
and are more rugged than gas-plasma 
displays, but they cost more to manu- 

Both gas-plasma and ELD screens 
share a problem with LCDs: a limited 
gray-scale display. They, too, must re- 
sort to color mapping to represent colors. 
In addition, bothjypes of displays have a 
yellow or reddish-orange color that might 
not appeal to some users. 

For those accustomed to high-resolu- 
tion desktop displays, using a portable 
might be a disappointment. The graphics 
adapter circuitry in these machines 
ranges from double-scan CGA (640 by 
400 pixels) to VGA. CGA on a mono- 
chrome screen is only adequate for most 
users. The Toshiba T5200, both NEC 
models, and the IBM PS/2 Model P70 
386 employ VGA graphics circuitry for 
good screen displays. 

External monitor ports, which are 
available on several of the portables that 
we reviewed, offer an easy upgrade for 
desktop use. An external CRT monitor 
has much better contrast than LCD, gas- 
plasma, and ELD screens, and, with 
color monitors, you can use color-based 


Keyboard Quirks 

When it comes to keyboards, a portable 
computer designer's imagination runs 
rampant. Nearly every keyboard has a 
unique layout. Cursor-control keys, nu- 
meric keys, and programmable function 
keys (Fl through F12) can all be "redis- 
tributed" on the keyboard. 

Because of space limitations, many 
keyboards are "compressed." Accessing 
some keys requires holding down a func- 
tion key before pressing another key. For 
example, the numeric keypad can be em- 
bedded in the alphabetic keys, and some 
control keys might have double, or even 
triple, functions. Certain keystroke com- 
binations that are used in word process- 
ing programs or program editors might 
increase in complexity and become awk- 
ward. A Ctrl-Shift-F5 might turn into a 
Function-Ctrl-Shift-F5. Before you 
select any portable, consider the soft- 
ware you're likely to use and how it will 
function on a particular computer. 

A notable exception to the rule of com- 
pression is the IBM PS/2 Model P70 386. 
Its keyboard adheres to IBM's standard. 
It has separate numeric and cursor-con- 
trol keypads, and it also has a mouse 
port. Users of PS/2 desktop machines 
can switch easily to the P70. 

Some portables, such as the Dolch- 
P.A.C., the GRiDCases, and the Micro 
Express Regal II, support a full-size 
IBM PC-compatible keyboard through 
an external keyboard port. Another pop- 
ular option offered by some portable 
manufacturers is an auxiliary numeric 
keypad to ease intensive math data entry. 

Our best advice to you is to try the key- 
board before you buy a portable com- 
puter. A fast 80386 CPU is no advantage 
when your fingers are constantly lost on 
the keyboard. 

Megabytes to Go 

The data storage options for portables 
can cover almost anything you want. You 
can have your choice of floppy disk 
drives: 360K-byte or 1.2-megabyte 5 l A- 
inch drives; 720K-byte or 1 .44-megabyte 
3 l /2-inch drives; and— soon to be avail- 
able—the 720K-byte 2-inch microfloppy 
disk drive. 

When it comes to hard disk drives, the 
choices are even more impressive. Hard 
disk drives in portables range from a pe- 
destrian 10 megabytes to a staggering 
170 megabytes as an option for the 
Dolch-P.A.C. The sizes vary from the 
standard 5V£-inch size to the V/i -inch 
units and down to the recently an- 
nounced 2 V^-inch hard disk drives. 

Most portable hard disk drives are 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 145 


specifically designed for portable use; 
somecan withstand up to 75 g's of shock. 
Some portables (e.g., the Toshibas and 
the Compaq) have special hard disk drive 
mounts to minimize shocks. 

Traveling Options 

It used to be that when you bought a por- 
table computer, you were stuck with what 
you got. Some machines had sockets for 
more RAM, but that was it for expand- 
ability. That's not the case now. Many 
portables have either proprietary or PC- 
compatible expansion slots. Peripherals 
and options are widely available from 
portable manufacturers and third-party 
suppliers. Toshiba offers a variety of ex- 
ternal floppy disk drives, plus memory 
and modem options that will fit in the 
T5100 and T5200's proprietary slots. 

Third-party manufacturers, such as 
the Megahertz Corp., offer a variety of 
enhancement products for portable com- 
puters. Megahertz offers both 1200- and 
2400-bps internal modems for Toshiba 
and Compaq portables. In addition, 
Megahertz sells the LapLan card for To- 
shiba portables, which follows the IEEE 
802.3 protocol and is Novell NetWare- 
compatible, and the MHZ-T-3270 re- 
mote terminal emulation card, which 
supports all IRM A and IBM emulations. 

You can now travel from office to of- 
fice and literally plug into your com- 
pany's mainframe computer or LAN. 
It's also possible, using laptops with 
large hard disk drives and plenty of 
RAM, to design your own portable LAN. 

With so many portables offering big 
hard disk drives, the question of data 
backup arises. Floppy disk drives aren't 
convenient when dealing with hard disks 
that are 100 megabytes or larger. Some 
manufacturers, such as Compaq, offer 
tape backup units for their computers as 
an option. Procom Technology offers its 
PLT series of external tape backup units 
for most popular portables. Both Com- 
paq's and Procom's units use the indus- 
try-standard QIC-40 format with the 
DC2000 tape cartridge. 

When the need for expansion options 
goes beyond the ordinary, many portable 
users add optional expansion units. One 
of the most unique is the NEC ProSpeed 
386 Docking Station. The Docking Sta- 
tion attaches to the rear of the ProSpeed 
and has space for two half-height drives 
and slots for three 16-bit and one 8-bit 
full-length PC-compatible cards. Even 
the diminutive GRiDCase 1535 EXP has 
a clip-on expansion tray that can hold one 
1 6-bit and one 8-bit card. 

What follows is a closer look at each of 
the 1 1 portables we examined. 

Compaq Portable 386 Model 40 Dolch-P. A.C. 386-25 

Old Reliable keeps plugging away. 
Compaq has slimmed down its por- 
table and made some subtle changes, but 
this machine is still the same old rugged 
workhorse we've come to count on. 
When it comes time to do some tough 
computing work, the Compaq is ready to 
go. It's a solid 20-MHz performer, 
though it finished only fourth on the 
BYTE benchmarks (see the figure on 
page 154). It doesn't have the best indi- 
vidual specs, and it's not the cheapest 
portable, either. The gas-plasma screen 
lacks the sharpness of other models. Yet 
the final combination adds up to an opti- 
mal mix of features, performance, and 
quality. Other portables may seem flash- 
ier, but none are more dependable. 

Perhaps the Compaq's biggest flaw is 
its gas-plasma display. At one time this 
screen seemed brilliant, but it doesn't 
shine so brightly when set next to today's 
new crop of portables. You can make it 
brighter with the only control knob, but 
most likely you'll keep that button fully 
tweaked, anyway. Forget about adjusting 
contrast; there's no knob for that. In the 
end, you can't avoid the washed-out look 
of the Compaq display. 

The standard Compaq Portable con- 
figuration includes a megabyte of 32-bit 
RAM, one 1.2-megabyte 5 14 -inch floppy 
disk drive, the CGA gas-plasma display, 
and a hard disk drive. The Model 40 
packs a 40-megabyte hard disk drive, 
while the Model 100 delivers 100 mega- 
bytes of hard disk space. You get a full 
keyboard with a separate numeric keypad 
and an RGB port for an external CGA 
monitor. If you need more than CGA 
graphics, you'll have to buy the expansion 
box and install a better graphics adapter. 
The $199 expansion unit plugs into the 
rear of the main unit and provides a pair of 
16-bit expansion slots. Like the Compaq, 
the expansion unit is functional, easy to 
use, and fully IBM PC-compatible. 

The P. A.C, which packs the fastest 
CPU in our lineup, harkens back to 
more traditional IBM PC AT technology. 
It uses the AT bus on its motherboard and 
a 1.2-megabyte 5 14 -inch floppy disk 
drive. Yet it combines those features with 
an 80386 running at 25 MHz with zero 
wait states, an ELD screen, and a SCSI 
hard disk drive controller with a 4-mega- 
byte-per-second data transfer rate. In ad- 
dition, the P. A.C. has a proprietary 64K- 
byte disk cache for faster data access. 

The P. A.C. has a lunch box config- 
uration. The keyboard detaches to reveal 
the ELD screen. You must plug the key- 
board into the side of the unit before 
turning it on. The screen tilts up if you 
push a large release button. The screen 
brightness control and display control are 
to the left of the screen. The display con- 
trol lets you adjust the screen for light 
text on a dark background or vice versa. 

The ELD screen is CGA-compatible 
and has a 640- by 400- (double scan) 
pixel resolution. Text display is a pleas- 
ant yellow on a dark-gray background, 
with excellent contrast. 

If you remove six screws from the 
back, you'll see the AT bus motherboard 
with its six slots. The review unit came 
with 8 megabytes of RAM, a 40-mega- 
byte hard disk drive, a SCSI drive con- 
troller, an I/O card for serial and parallel 
ports, and an ELD/CGA video card. 
This leaves one 8-bit slot and two 16-bit 
slots free, which allows for easy expand- 
ability. The port connectors are located 
beneath a plastic cover on the left side of 
the P. A.C. Dolch also offers the Back 
Pack, an external expansion module for 
three full-length 16-bit cards. 

Dolch sells a version of the P. A.C. 
called the COBRA for hosting a variety 
of computer-based instruments, data ac- 
quisition boards, and industrial control 


146 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Turn Any Place 
Into An Instant Office. 

Why be limited by four walls and a desk? Just 
turn on the mp286L desktop-laptop and you're in 
business. Anywhere. 

The Mitsubishi® mp286L is the instant 
office. Plus, with every mp286L, 
you get Microsoft® Works, a modem 
and a travel bag free. 

Easy to learn and use, Microsoft 
Works is rated by PC World as the 
#1 integrated software program 
including word processing, spread- 
sheet, chart maker, database, report 

generator and communication modules. 
So it will bring out the best in the high 
performance mp286L. 

See the Mitsubishi mp286L in 
action. For your nearest Mitsubishi 
dealer call 1-800-5564234, ext. 25 in 
the U.S. and Canada (in California 
1-800441^2345, ext. 25). 

Then go with the instant office. 



Mitsubishi Eleccronics America, Inc., Information Systems Division, 991 Knox Street, Torrance, CA 90502. 

Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada, Inc., 888 5 Woodbine Avenue, Markham, Ontario L3R 5GL 

©1989 Mitsubishi Electronics America, Inc. Mitsubishi is a registered trademark of Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Tokyo. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. 

Circle 168 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 169) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 147 



GRiDCase 1530 and 1535 EXP 

GRiD Systems has attained the status 
of a portable pioneer, and the com- 
pany deserves its reputation. The com- 
pany shipped the first battery-powered 
portables, and it owns the patent for the 
basic portable design. The GRiDCase 
line is a testament to this notable design 
savvy. The GRiD portables are rugged, 
battery-powered systems that fold into 
stylish magnesium cases. 

The GRiD models are remarkably 
similar in that they share basic system 
specifications. Both units house an 
80386 processor running at 12.5 MHz, a 
standard 1 megabyte of RAM, and two 
handy ROM slots just above the key- 
board. The 1535 EXP features a snap-on 
tray that delivers one 16-bit and one 8-bit 
expansion slot. 

The first thing you notice when you 
turn the GRiD on is the startlingly sharp 
screen display. Our 1535 EXP came with 
a blue backlit LCD^while the 1530 
sported an orange gas-plasma screen. 
The LCD was impressive enough, but the 
GRiD gas-plasma screen is stunning. 
For pure readability and sharpness, it 
can't be beat. Both screens are CGA- 
compatible, as is the 9-pin video port. 

The second thing you notice when 
booting the GRiDs is the SCO Xenix sys- 

tem installed on them. You immediately 
start taking these slim portables serious- 
ly. GRiD has designed its portables for 
field engineers and traveling profession- 
als, and the boot-up configuration con- 
firms this focus. If you need DOS, 
though, it's easy enough to fire i tup from 
the log-in prompt or to change the active 

It's a mystery why a company with 
such a discerning eye for design could 
not come up with a keyboard better than 
the GRiCDase's. The keys are awkward- 
ly flat and spaced too closely together, 
and the keyboard lacks a standard layout. 
GRiD shrank the Enter key and moved 
the Backspace key out of easy pinky 
range. The embedded cursor-control and 
numeric keys will frustrate any traveling 
professional who works extensively with 
numbers; however, GRiD offers an op- 
tional numeric keypad to solve that prob- 
lem. Perhaps GRiD, given its projected 
market, can afford to alienate the touch 
typist, but this is a keyboard that even the 
most ardent' hunt-and-peck artist could 
dislike. If you're placing the GRiD on a 
desktop, you'll appreciate the external 
keyboard port. 

The GRiDCase line lacks nothing— if 
you're willing to pay the price. The only 
problem with its impressive add-ons is 
that more of these options aren't included 
under the hefty GRiD price tag. The 
standard configuration doesn't even in- 
clude a hard disk drive. Add $1675 to the 
1530's base price ($4695) or $500 to the 
1535 EXP's base price ($6995) if you 
need a 40-megabyte unit. Once you go 
with the hard disk drive, there's no room 
left for an internal floppy disk drive. An 
external "pocket floppy," though in- 
cluded with the hard disk drive config- 
uration, must be carried along when you 
need a floppy disk drive. You can also 
purchase 5V4-inch drives, backup tape 
cartridge drives, high-density Xenix 
drives, internal battery packs and exter- 
nal battery chargers, and an Ethernet 
Network Expansion Cartridge. By the 
time you're through adding on, you'll 
have a fully configured 80386 system, a 
busted bank account, and a broken back. 

That both the GRiDCase 1530 and the 
1535 EXP did poorly on the benchmarks 
is more related to their 12.5-MHz CPU 
speed than any performance flaw. We 
would like to see a little more power 
under the hood, but it's hard to question 
design decisions when this is one of the 
few vendors that can free you from an AC 
plug. If you can leave all the extras at 
home, you'll carry along a unique combi- 
nation of power, compactness, and 
black-tie style. 

IBM PS/2 Model P70 386 

IBM has finally produced a portable 
computer that has all the right fea- 
tures. The P70 is a Micro Channel archi- 
tecture (MCA) machine with the per- 
formance of the Model 70 desktop 
computer. It uses an 80386 running at 20 
MHz. There is a socket for an optional 
80387 math coprocessor chip. 

The P70 has a lunch box configuration 
in a briefcase size. You must slide two 
catches to release the keyboard, which 
folds down to reveal the gas-plasma 
display. The keyboard can be detached 
from the computer for easier desktop 
use. The bottom edge of the display can 
be pulled out to tilt the display up. Push- 
ing on the inside upper-right corner of 
the case causes the V/i-'mch floppy disk 
drive to fold out. 

The rear of the P70 features slide-up 
covers for access to the AC power con- 
nector, serial port, parallel port, VGA 
external monitor connector, PS/2 mouse 
port, and external expansion connector. 

If you fold back the rear door, you'll 
see a storage area for a mouse and have 
access to connectors for two MCA slots. 
One slot can hold a 32-bit full-length 
board, and the other can hold a 16-bit 
half-length board. The review unit came 
with a 60-megabyte hard disk drive with 
an integrated ESDI controller and 8 
megabytes of RAM. An IBM 2400-bps 
modem and an IBM Token Ring Adapter 
Network board were also included. 

The P70 maintains the PS/2 tradition 
of simple user access. Installing MCA 
cards is easy: Just release three screws to 
remove the rear cover. All parts of the 
portable are at hand. An internal fan 
keeps the unit cool. 

The P70 has a VGA-compatible gas- 
plasma display with a 640- by 480-pixel 
resolution. Like many other portables, 
the P70 uses color mapping when it runs 
color-based software. But unlike other 


148 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

"Xerox this memo." 
"FedExthis proposal" 
"Laplinkttiese files." 

When something becomes a standard, 
using it becomes second nature. That's true 
about LapLink. It's so effective that it has 
become the most popular 
laptop-to-desktop and 
desktop-to-desktop file 
transfer program ever. 

And now Release III 
improves on the original 
with added power — 
while preserving the 
simple design that has 
made LapLink the 
choice of more major 

LapLink III offers 
both serial and parallel file 
transfer, and you can take 
advantage of parallel transfer 
speeds of 500,000 baud or higher. 
It comes with a "six headed" universal cable 
that provides you with everything you need 
to use both serial and parallel modes. 

And LapLink III will even install itself 
automatically on a remote computer. 
That's in addition to ease-of-use and 
productivity features like our popular split 
screen design, flexible transfer options, 
and disk and printer sharing. 

For the same fast, error- 
free file transfers between 
PCs and Macintoshes, get 
LapLink Mac. And for 
more information about 
any Traveling Software 
product, call us at 

LapLink III. The 
standard in file transfer 

Suggested Heliiil Price $139.95 


Traveling Software, Inc. 

18702 Norlh Creek Parkway Bolliell. VVA 980 1 1 

LapLink is a reg. trademark of Traveling Software, Inc., Xerox is a reg. trademark of Xerox Corporation, KedKx is a reg trademark of Federal Kxpress Corporation. © 1989 Traveling Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved 

Circle 256 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 149 


portables, the P70 uses a different meth- 
od to produce the color mapping for the 
gas-plasma display. 

If a program directly writes a color 
value to a particular location in VGA 
memory, the P70's VGA circuitry trans- 
lates that value to another value that can 
be displayed as part of the color map- 
ping. If the program reexamines that 
particular memory location, it will see a 
different value from what it had original- 
ly written. This could cause a problem in 
that some software that uses direct hard- 
ware control of the VGA circuitry might 
not operate correctly with the P70. 

smooth fit, and the cover for the cable 
bay can unlatch easily. 

The rear of the Regal II offers a paral- 
lel printer port and a 25-pin serial port. It 
lacks an external video port, though you 
could install an adapter in a free expan- 
sion slot. Priced at $2999, the Regal II 
certainly looks attractive. Of course, 
when you select the Regal II as an alter- 
native to the Compaq Portable 386, you 
are sacrificing Compaq's proven record 
for quality. Though the Regal II seems 
rugged enough, only time will tell. For 
the price of the Regal II, it could be 
worth taking the chance. 


Micro Express Regal II 

Since we hold the Compaq Portable in 
high regard, it's hard not to like the 
Micro Express Regal II as well. It shares 
the same lunch box look of the Compaq, 
the same pop-up gas-plasma screen, the 
same snap-off detachable keyboard, and 
the same outstanding performance. In 
fact, the Micro Express outperformed 
the Compaq, perhaps helped by a 64K- 
byte, 35- to 40-nanosecond static RAM 

No doubt, the Regal II really screams. 
In terms of benchmarks, it came in be- 
hind only the Toshiba T5200 and the 25- 
MHz Dolch-P.A.C, returning solid 
numbers across the board. It finished no 
worse than third on all the low-level 
modules and posted top honors on the 
disk benchmark. It surpasses the Com- 
paq in the expandability department, 
too, with four expansion slots accessible 
from a sliding door on the left side of the 
unit. The right side houses a 5 14 -inch 
floppy disk drive with a standard flip- 
down latch. We didn't like the way the 
Regal II packs its keyboard cable, how- 
ever. Unlike the Compaq, which tucks 
its keyboard cable effortlessly into a slot 
next to the screen, the Regal II offers a 
compartment within the keyboard to 
store the cable. It doesn't make for a 


NEC PowerMate Portable SX 
and ProSpeed 386 

Please don't refer to the PowerMate 
Portable SX as a stunted system. Yes, 
it employs a 16-MHz 80386SX proces- 
sor; and, yes, our benchmarks reveal 
lackluster performance; but this system 
delivers a remarkable set of features for 
the price. NEC may have cut some cor- 
ners on the data bus, but it didn't cut cor- 
ners anywhere else: The unit has 2 mega- 
bytes of RAM, a 42-megabyte hard disk 
drive, a 1.44-megabyte 3 1 /2-inch floppy 
disk drive, a VGA gas-plasma display, 
three expansion slots, a 5 V^-inch external 

drive interface, a 93-key keyboard, and 
an external VGA port. 

All those impressive features add up to 
a hefty luggable shell, so you sacrifice 
some portability. Once you set this sys- 
tem up, though, you give up very little. 
The expansive keyboard offers a separate 
numeric keypad and dedicated cursor- 
control keys. The light clicky feel and 
full-size keys make for comfortable 
touch-typing. A single-screw door atop 
the unit exposes three full 16-bit expan- 
sion slots as well as the memory and co- 
processor sockets. A side door affords 
easy access to the system DIP switches. 
If you don't really need blazing speed or 
a 32-bit data path, this machine delivers 
a wealth of standard features that no 
other vendor can match. 

NEC refers to the ProSpeed 386 as a 
"modular workstation." If you're really 
looking to buy one computer for both 
travel and desktop use, the ProSpeed 
philosophy may be the answer. The bat- 
tery-powered portable unit houses a 1 6- 
MHz 80386, a 40- or 1 00-megabyte hard 
disk drive, up to 10 megabytes of RAM, 
a fold-down LCD VGA screen, an exter- 
nal VGA port, and an 92-key keyboard 
with a separate numeric keypad. Even as 
a stand-alone portable, it's an impressive 
unit. It has the design of a true portable 
with battery power and lap-size dimen- 
sions; however, with the battery in- 
stalled, the ProSpeed weighs in at a 
back-straining 22 Vi pounds. 

When you get back to your desk, you 
can plug the ProSpeed into the optional 
Docking Station ($1199). With the 
Docking Station, you get one 8-bit and 
three 1 6-bit expansion slots, bays for two 
standard half-height storage devices, an 
external keyboard port, two serial ports, 
and a parallel port. You can connect an 
external analog monitor to the RGB port 
on the portable unit and plug the monitor 
into an AC outlet at the rear of the Dock- 
ing Station. A fully configured Pro- 
Speed could indeed qualify as a low-end 
workstation. While the expansion slots 
could provide connectivity and other en- 
hancements, the drive bays can support 
mass storage options, including CD- 
ROM drives. NEC also bundles VM/386 
multitasking software with the Pro- 

With these two units, NEC offers 
some unique portable choices. In addi- 
tion to being the only SX machine in our 
survey, the PowerMate offers a fully fea- 
tured luggable system at a competitive 
price. The ProSpeed provides a creative 
solution to users who need both a power- 
ful portable on the road and a fully con- 
figured 80386 on their desktop. 

150 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 


Circle 272 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 273) 



Toshiba T5100 and T5200 

Both of Toshiba's portables show a 
definite family resemblance; they 
have the same clamshell design. The 
T5100 uses a single large, front-mounted 
latch to release the display from above 
the keyboard. The T5200 uses two small 
latches and has a combination lock. The 
T5100 has a handle mounted on its back; 
theT5200has a smallhandle mounted on 
the front that folds under. Both units have 
a gray matte finish, but under the skin, 
they differ significantly. 

The T5100 is smaller, lighter, and 
slower. It's not as tall or wide as its 
brother. It's 4 pounds lighter, runs at 16 
MHz, and costs over $2000 less. The 
model we received had a 40-megabyte 
hard disk drive and came with 2 mega- 
bytes of RAM, the standard configura- 
tion. The rear of the T5100 sports a 
serial port, a parallel port, and an EGA 
connector. You can also use the parallel 
port to connect an optional external flop- 
py disk drive. A switch on the side of the 
T5100 configures the parallel port as 
drive A, drive B, or printer port LPT 1 . 

A metal plate at the rear of the T5100 
covers Toshiba's proprietary expansion 
port connector. The port provides an 
easy upgrade path; Toshiba offers an 



But now there's an easy 'way^ to * 
trdnsport your S 1 /^ data to your laptop! 

1LTEC introduces their new 525 external floppy drive subsystem - 
r way to use 5 .25 " data with your 3,5" format laptop computer. The 
If ^simple to setup, easy to use, and supports a wide variety 
dlsktop systems. 

timatibn on the 525 subsystem write or call: 


WELTEC digital, inc. 

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2400 bps LAPTOP MODEM 
"True Power Off" 

Introducing a revolution in Laptop Communications, 
Datastar 5. This unique 2400 bps Laptop Modem with 
MNP5 and TPO "True Rawer Otf", extends battery life, 
is fully compatible and is the only upgradeable Laptop 
Modem available today. Never in the history of Laptop 
Communications has so little, done so much, for so many. 


• Upgradeability 

• Automatic TPO "True IWer 0((" 

• MNP5 - 100% error free transmission 

• Data Compression - 4800 bps throughput 

• Compatibility - "AT" and "Extended AT" command sets 

• Ease of installation 

• 3 year warranty 

• High performance - custom low distortion phone interface- 

NEC, TOSHIBA, aod ZENITH, LAPtop computers. 

Circle 289 on Reader Service Card 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 151 



Compaq Computer Corp. 

IBM Corp. 

NEC Home Electronics, Inc. 

Toshiba America 

(Compaq Portable 386) 

(Model P70 386) 

(ProSpeed 386) 

Information Systems 

20555 FM 149 

U.S. Marketing and Services 

1255 Michael Dr. 


Houston, TX 77070 

1 1 33 Westchester Ave. 

Wood Dale, IL 60191 


(713) 374-1562 

White Plains, NY 10604 

(800) 632-7638 

9740 Irvine Blvd. 

Inquiry 1071. 

Contact your local dealer. 


Irvine, C A 927 18 

Inquiry 1076. 


Dolch American 

Megahertz Corp. 

Inquiry 1079. 

Instruments, Inc. 

4505 South Wasatch Blvd. 

NEC Information 

(Dolch-P.A.C. 386-25) 

Salt Lake City, UT 84124 

Systems, Inc. 

Zenith Data Systems 

2029 O'Toole Ave. 

(801) 272-6000 

(PowerMate Portable SX) 

(TurbosPort 386) 

San Jose, CA 95131 

Inquiry 1074. 

1414 Massachusetts Ave. 

1000 Milwaukee Ave. 


Boxborough, MA 01719 

Glenview,IL 60025 

Inquiry 1072. 

Micro Express 



(Regal II) 

Inquiry 1077. 


GRiD Systems Corp. 

21 14 South Grand Ave. 

Inquiry 1080. 

(GRiDCase 1530 and 1535) 

Santa Ana, CA 92705 

Procom Technology 

47211 Lakeview Blvd. 


200 McCormick 

Fremont, CA 94537 


Costa Mesa, CA 92626 

(800) 222-4743 

Inquiry 1075. 


Inquiry 1073. 

Inquiry 1078. 

optional 2-megabyte memory board, mo- 
dem, and external expansion chassis. 
The T5100's gas-plasma EGA display 
has 640- by 400-pixel resolution. The 
display is crisp, and the contrast and 
brightness controls lie directly under- 

The T5200 is the top of the line for To- 
shiba portables. It has an outstanding 
line of features, but it is one of the most 
expensive portables. The T5200's 80386 
runs at 20 MHz with a 32-bit path to sys- 
tem memory, an 82385 cache controller 
chip, and a 32K-byte static RAM cache. 
The review model came with a 40-mega- 
byte hard disk drive and 4 megabytes of 
RAM. The cache controller chip ex- 
plains why the T5200 can outrun the 
Dolch-P.A.C. in some of the BYTE 
benchmark tests. The rear of the T5200 
has connectors for the parallel port/ 
external floppy disk drive port, two 
serial ports, a VGA connector for an ex- 
ternal monitor, and the Toshiba propri- 
etary expansion connector. 

One of the reasons why the T5200 is 
larger than its brother is that you can in- 
stall two PC-compatible expansion 
boards, one short 8-bit board and one 
full-length 16-bit board, inside the rear 
of the unit. Installation involves remov- 
ing the rear panel and two metal cover 
plates. Once installed, the rear of the ex- 
pansion boards can be accessed through a 
removable plastic cover on the left side. 
This provides a convenient upgrade path 
for expansion boards, such as LAN inter- 
faces or data acquisition cards. 

The T5200 also has a gas-plasma 

display; it is VGA compatible and has a 
640- by 480-pixel resolution. The gas- 
plasma display can be removed when 
using the computer with an external 
monitor. You can simultaneously view 
both the gas-plasma display and an exter- 
nal monitor. 

Both units use AC power only. They 
come bundled with PC-Kwik Power Pak 
utility software, QEMM-386 memory 
management software, and Microsoft 

Zenith TurbosPort 386 

The TurbosPort combines good per- 
formance, an innovative design, and 
convenient operating features. When we 
used the TurbosPort, we got the impres- 
sion that a considerable amount of engi- 
neering skill went into its design. 

The TurbosPort has a modified clam- 
shell design. To open it, you move two 

slide releases on the sides and tilt up the 
LCD screen from the keyboard. Once the 
screen is up, you can detach the keyboard 
from the rest of the computer by pressing 
on two latches. This makes the machine 
easier to use on a desktop. 

The rear of the TurbosPort has a serial 
port, a parallel port, a DB-15 external 
monuor connector, and RJ-11 connec- 
tors for the built-in modem. The ma- 
chine that we received for review, the 
Model 40M, came equipped with a 40- 
megabyte hard disk drive and a 2400-bps 
internal modem. The TurbosPort's 
80386 runs at 12 MHz with zero wait 
states. The socket for an optional 80387 
resides in back of the display. The 
TurbosPort comes standard with 2 mega- 
bytes of RAM, expandable to 3 mega- 
bytes internally. The internal SETUP 
program allows you to configure the 
memory beyond 640K bytes as either ex- 
tended or expanded memory. 

The TurbosPort's screen is a "page 
white" backlit fluorescent LCD with 
640- by 400-pixel resolution (double- 
scan CGA). We judged the TurbosPort's 
LCD screen as one of the best. 

The TurbosPort can run on internal 
nickel-cadmium batteries or an external 
AC adapter. The adapter is a 7 14 - by 2 l A - 
by 4 14 -inch box, weighing \ 3 A pounds, 
with a special cable and connector that 
plugs into the side of the TurbosPort. 
The nickel-cadmium battery can be re- 
charged in 2 hours if the computer is 
off, or it can be trickle-charged during 
use. You access the battery through a 


152 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

SINCE 1979, 

servicing our PC buyers 
with low pricing, 
technical experience - 
and reliable service. 


Order Status, 
Technical & Other 
Info: (602) 246-2222 
Fax: (602) 246-7805 

Call for programs 
not listed. 

eservice. PRODUCTS """ ,0 ' BU - 

; #Sl' 1-800-421-3135 mth\n we usa and Canada toll-free 

s o 


Lotusi-2-3 $305 

Lucid3D 62 

Microsoft Excel 224 

Plan Perfect 189 

Quattro 159 

SuperCalc5 305 

Twin Advanced 69 

VP Planner Plus 119 


Clarion Personal Developer $95 

Clarion Pro Developer 379 

Clipper 419 

DBase IV 459 

D Base IV Developers Ed ...819 

DB-XL Diamond 1.4 145 

DataPerfect 283 

Fox Base Plus 2.1 199 

Genifer 189 

Paradox3.0 449 

PFS: Professional File 2.0 ...165 

Powerbase2.3 169 

Q&A3.0 209 

Revelation Advanced 469 

R Base Compiler Ver. 1.0 ... . 580 

R Base For DOS 2.1 459 

Reflex 95 

Relate & Report 99 

VP Info 63 

H A 


CurtisRubyPlus $69 

Emerson Surge Protector .... 69 

Keytronics KB101 99 

LogicalConnection 256K ...469 

Mach III Joystick 30 

Masterpiece 85 

NTC 101 Keyboard 89 

Targus Laptop Bags Call 

150 Watt Power Supply 69 


BernoulliB120X $1049 

Bernoulli Carts In Stock 

Core Hard Drives Call 

MiniScribe Special 

Seagate 20 MBw/Cont 259 

Seagate 30 MB w/Cont 279 

Seagate251-1 40MB 28 Mil. 409 
Seagate ST 125 w/Cont ....319 
Seagate ST 138 w/Cont ....369 

Seagate ST 251 369 

Seagate ST 4096 585 



80287 $153 

80287-8 219 

80287-10 259 

80387-16 399 

80387-20 439 

8087-2 139 

8087-3 ..95 



UPS200 $289 

UPS PC ET 700 WATT 499 



Autosketch Enhanced $61 

DesignCad2D3.0 219 

EasyCad2.05 119 

Generic Cad Level 3 159 

MathCad2.0 245 



Brooklyn Bridge Universal . . $75 

Carbon Copy Plus 106 

CrosstalkXVI ...99 

Desklink 99 

Lap Link 3 79 

PC Anywhere III 69 

Pro Com. Plus 44 

RelayGold 149 


CorelDraw $349 

PFS First Graphics 87 

Grasp 82 

Harvard Graphics 2.12 274 

Mapmaster 219 

PrintmasterPlus 29 

Printshop. 34 

Printshop Companion 29 

Show Partner Fx 199 


EnableOA $415 

PFSFirstChoice 89 

Microsoft Works 89 

Smart Software 439 

Symphony2.0 419 


ASTVGAPIus $349 

ATI EGA Wonder 800 229 

ATIVGA Wonder 319 

Everex Viewpoint 256K ....249 

Orchid Designer 800 232 

Orchid Pro Designer W/256K 299 
Paradise Autoswitch EGA 480 179 

Paradise VGA Plus 259 

Paradise VGA Pro 449 

Vega Fastwrite 349 

VegaV-RAM 499 

Complete Hand Scanner 400 $143 

Data Copy 730 GS 930 

DFI Scanner .....189 

Logitech BusWEIV 79 

Logitech Scanman Hi-Res ..179 
Microsoft Bus w/Paintbrush . .99 

PCMousellw/Paint 79 



Bravo 5 $889 

Model140 2599 

Model140X 2299 


Pro Turbo 88 739 

Pro Turbo 286 w/512 ....1209 
ProTurbo286,1MB ....1319 
386 Skyscraper 2729 



Super Project Plus $255 

Timeline Pro Ver. 3.0 364 

Total Harvard Manager 3.01 369 


Grammatik III $49 

Microsoft Word 5.0 225 

Multimate Advantage II ... .285 
PFS Professional Write 2.1 ..129 

RightWriter 49 

SPF/PC2.1 169 

WillMaker3.0 37 

Word Perfect 5.0 225 

Word Perfect Library 2.0 ....65 

Wordstar Pro 5.5 229 

Wordstar2000Plus 273 

Xywrite III Plus 216 


Brainmaker $79 

Microsoft C 5.1 299 

Microsoft Fortran 295 

Microsoft Macro Assembler . . 99 
Microsoft Quick Basic 4.5 . . .65 

Microsoft QuickC 2.0 65 


TurboC2.0 95 

Turbo C Professional 165 

Turbo Pascal 5.5 99 

Turbo Prolog 2.0 95 

Turbo Prolog Toolbox 65 



Allways $85 

Battery Watch 25 

CopyllPC 23 

Copywrite 55 

Core Fast 72 

Desqview 2.2 79 

Direct Access 49 

DiskManager 59 

DiskTechnician Advanced . . 1 08 

Fastback Plus 2.01 104 

Fasttrax 29 

Formtools 56 

Formworx 85 

Gopher 45 

H-TEST 49 

Mace Gold 81 

Microsoft Windows 286 63 

Microsoft Windows 386.... 125 

Norton Advanced 4.5 79 

Norton Commander2.0 49 

Norton Utilities 4.5 55 

Org Plus Adv 79 

PC Tools Deluxe 5.0 44 


QEMM 386 39 

Sidekick Plus 125 

Sideways 39 

Software Carousel 43 

Spinrite 49 

XTree 35 

XTreePro 64 




AST Rampage 286 Plus, 512K $489 
AST Sixpac Plus W/64K ....129 

ATlWonderVGA 433 

Copy II PC Deluxe Board .... 109 

EverexRAM3000 89 

Everex 2MB Above Board ....59 

Everex I/O XT/AT 65 

Intel lnboard386AT 894 

Intel Above 286, Plus W/512K.. 419 
Intel Connection Co-Processor 739 
Orchid Tiny Extra Turbo ... .Call 


Hyundai Amber w/tilt $79 

Samsung White 95 

SamtronAmber 89 


SamtronRGBSC452 235 

Magnavox 8762 RGB 255 


Samtron 14" EGA 369 

Magnavox CM 9053 370 


NEC Multisync 2A 519 

Seiko 1430 599 

Zenith Flat ZCM 14 629 


Mitsubishi Diamondscan . . 499 
NEC Multisync 3D 679 



All Models . 


OKI 182Turbo .. 

OKI 320 

OKI 321 

OKI 391 







NX1000 Color... 





Plus Hardcard20MB $529 

PlusHardcard40MB 669 


Kurta Tablets IS/One 12x12.. $295 
Summa Graphics 12x12 ...349 


Adobe IllustratorWindow . . $409 

Bitstream Fonts 119 ea. 

PagemakerVer.3.0 469 

PFS:FirstPublisher2.0 73 

VenturaPublisher2.0 479 

Ventura Pro EXT 377 


688 Attack Sub $33 

Chuck Yeager Flight Simulator 35 

Gunship 35 

Leisure Suit Larry II 28 

Kings Quest IV 30 

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 30 
Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 35 

Typing Tutor IV 30 

Where in the World 30 

Many MoreTitles Available . . Call 

Bedford Accounting $139 

CheckWritePlus 29 

DacEasyAcct,Ver3.0 59 

Dae Easy Light 42 

Dollars & Sense 99 

Managing YourMoney5.0 ..119 

Peachtree Business Acct 149 

PeachtreeW/PDQ 220 

Quicken 30 


MS-DOS3.3 $85 

MS-DOS 4.01 89 

R E 


Toshiba T-1000 $699 

Toshiba T-1200FB 1579 

Toshiba T-1600 3359 

ToshibaT-3100E 2839 

All Other Models Call 


Everex 300/1200 $69 

Everex2400INT 139 

Everex 2400 MNP INT 159 

Everex2400MNPEXT 189 

Hayes 1200 289 

Hayes2400 435 

U.S. Robotics 

2400E 335 

9600HST 609 

Sportster1200INT 79 

Sportster 2400 INT 145 


Teac5 1 /i"360K $79 

Toshiba 3 1 /2" 1.44 MB 109 

Toshiba 3V2"720K 109 

Hyundai (18 Month Warranty) 

Super 16TEw/Video Card 

Super 16X 3.5 Floppy w/Microsoft 

Works and Video Card 

Super-286c, 640K, 1 Floppy 

.699 Super 286N 12 MHz, 1MB Ram, Wait State, 

200 Watts, 1 FDD 5.25, 1.2MB 1159 

. 669 With Video Card & Hyundai EGA Monitor, 
. 869 .31 mm dot pitch, 640 x 200 Res. . . . 1679 


-421-3135 • 1-602-246-2222 
Glendale Ave., Phx, AZ 85051 


Technical S 
FAX (602) 2 
Phone Hou 

upport: (602) 246-222^ 

's: Monday thru Friday 
Saturday 9:00 a.m. 

6:00 p 



Circle 271 on Reader Service Card 


panel in the bottom of the machine. Bat- 
tery life is approximately 2 to 3 hours per 

Portable Performance 

The Compaq Portable's standing in our 
BYTE benchmark graph (see below) re- 
veals the power of the portables we re- 
viewed. Despite its usual place at or near 
the top of our benchmark listings, the 
Compaq could do no better than fourth 
out of the 1 1 portables tested. This is not 
so much a sign of Compaq's slide as it is a 
testament to the quality of this crop of 
luggable powerhouses. Few users would 
ever need more power than this— even 
for their desktop applications. 

For the most part, the results reflect 
the speed of the CPU. However, the To- 
shiba T5200, a 20-MHz model, out- 
scored the 25-MHz Dolch-P.A.C. The 
Toshiba T5200 posted a higher CPU 



static cache and 82385 

cache controller 

boosted the T5200's 

performance above that 

of the competition. 

score and a higher overall applications 
score, and it even performed more Dhry- 
stones per second. It consistently placed 
at the top of our applications tests. A 
32K-byte static cache and 82385 cache 

controller boosted the T5200's perfor- 
mance above that of the competition. 

The Micro Express Regal II topped 
our disk benchmark listing, a result cor- 
roborated by applications tests such as 
printing a PostScript file to disk, loading 
an extensive Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, 
and storing large documents. The Dolch- 
P.A.C. also performed admirably on 
disk-intensive applications. It suffered 
somewhat on the low-level tests because 
we had to factor out the Hard Seek test. 
The P.A.C.'s SCSI connector hides low- 
level operations from the user. This 
makes a low-level Seek test useless. The 
Toshiba T5200 and the NEC ProSpeed 
also returned impressive disk results. 
The NEC PowerMate, as if not already 
hampered enough by the SX chip, suf- 
fers from a sluggish hard disk drive. It 
finished at the bottom of our low-level 




Toshiba T5200 

Dolch-P.A.C. 386-25 

Micro Express Regal II 

Compaq Portable 386 Model 40 

IBM PS/2 Model P70 386 

NEC ProSpeed 386 

Toshiba T51 00 

Zenith TurbosPort 386 

GRiDCase 1530 

GRiDCase 1535 EXP 

NEC PowerMate Portable SX 











1 1 1 

I I 677 

| | CPU Q| FPU 

Q Disk I/O [] Video 

| Word processing f~~| Spreadsheet I ~~| Database 
J Scientific/engineering J Compilers 

The 20-MHz Toshiba T5200 outscoredthe 25 -MHz Dolch-P.A. C. 386-25 on the applications index and the low-level 
CPU index. Cumulative indexes at right show relative performance: an 8-MHz IBM PC AT = 1. All low-level 
benchmarks use the 80386 version (1. 1) ofSmall-C (32 -bit integers). The P.A.C finished highest on the FPU and 
video tests. The Micro Express Regal II had the best disk index. We blame slow CPUs for poor performance showings 
by the GRiDCases and the Zenith TurbosPort 386. 

154 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

The shortest distance between 
Laptop and Desktop. 



The FAST LOCK file pro- 
tection system safeguards 
your hard disk files with 
simple, effective password 
security. Until October 
31, 1989, participating 
dealers are offering 
special savings when you 
purchase FAST LOCK 
and FASTLYNX together. 

Need to move files, 
directories - even complete 
disks of information - 
between IBM-compatible 
3 1/2" laptop and 5 1/4" 
desktop disk drives? Send 
them First Class. 

faster than any 
other product of 
its kind. Over 
500K baud parallel. 
More than 200K 
baud serial. And 
supports both CRC 
and Checksum 
error-checking, for 
100% accuracy at 
maximum speed. 

No other file transfer 
utility is as easy to use as 
FASTLYNX. Just connect a 
cable from the 2 supplied, 
and decide which files to 
transfer. FASTLYNX 
connects itself and 
automatically selects port, 
baud rate, and error- 
checking mode. 

FASTLYNX provides 
a unique self-cloning 
ability. So you only need to 
install FASTLYNX on a 
single system. A bootstrap 
upload feature automatically 
transfers FASTLYNX to the 
target computer. 

FASTLYNX is the 
only file transfer system 
with 3 separate modes of 
operation. SPLIT SCREEN 
MODE makes file transfer 
as simple as point-and- 

FASTLYNX and FASTLOCKare trademarks of Rupp Corporation. 
Circle 95 on Reader Service Card 

shoot. Use FORM MODE to 
create time-saving file 
transfer macros. With 
advanced users can issue 
file transfer commands from 
the DOS prompt. 
makes printer and 
disk sharing easy. 
Use the unique, 
ultra-fast parallel 
driver to share 
printers effortlessly. 
Or run remote 
programs with the 
speedy direct disk 
access you'd expect 
from a network. 
We've even included 
versatile hard disk 
management func- 
tions. And on-line 
and context- 
sensitive help makes 
you so comfortable 
with these features 
that you'll actually 
use them. 

2 cables are 
better than 1. 
Unlike other file 
transfer products, 
FASTLYNX includes 
both parallel and 
serial cables for 

FASTLYNX culmi- 
nates 5 years of file 
transfer leadership. Rupp 
Corporation built upon its 
highly acclaimed Fastwire II 
file transfer utility to make 
FASTLYNX the fastest, 
easiest to use, and most 
complete product of its 

Call 1-800-852- 
RUPP for the name of your 
nearest FASTLYNX dealer. 

835 Madison Avenue 

New York, NY 10021 

(212) 517-7775, Fax: (212) 249-8243 



AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 155 


Phar Lap 

Virtual Memory Manager. 

It will let you write applications up to 5, 10, 15 megabytes or more 
for any 386 PC running MS-DOS* Forget about RAM limitations. 
Your application can run on a machine with as little as 1 or 2 mega- 
bytes of memory. 

Only Phar Lap 3861 VMM" gives you demand-paged virtual memory capa- 
bility so you can write mainframe-sized applications for the PC. Applications 
your customers can run on their 386 PCs now with no additional memory. No 
kidding. All you need is 3861 VMM and our family of 386 development tools. 
Existing programs developed with our 386IDOS-Extender can be easily 
expanded with 386IVMM too. 

Our tools let you take full advantage of the 386 protected mode architec- 
ture. Break the DOS 640K limit in the language of your choice; C, Fortran, 
Pascal, or Assembler. 

For fast compact code, use 386 1 ASM, our 80386 assembler that's upwardly 
compatible with the MASM* 8086 assembler. Existing DOS and mainframe 
applications written in a high level language are easily ported by recompiling. 
And 386ILINK, our 32-bit native mode linker, puts it all together. 

Debugging is made easy too. With our 386 symbolic debugger you can 
debug applications written in assembler or any high level language. Best of all, 
with Phar Lap's 386IDOS-Extender" you can run your native mode program 
on any 386-based PC running MS-DOS. And you have full access to DOS 
system services through INT 21. 


Phar Lap's tools are compatible 
with the industry's leading systems: 
DESKPRO 386-; IBM Model 70/80* 
386 clones and accelerator boards. 
Not only will your new applications 
be compatible with the leading 
systems, they'll run alongside all 
other DOS applications. 


Once your 386 application is complete, 
all you pay is a low one-time fee to license 
386IDOS-Extender for redistribution. 

3861 VMM is also developer friendly. 
Call to find out about our flexible run- 
time pricing. 

You can unlock the entire DOS market 
now. Don't wait for OS/3. 

$495 386IASM/LINK-Package includes 386 assembler, linker, MINIBUG 
debugger and the developer version of 386IDOS-Extender 

$895 MetaWare 80386 High C* compiler 

$595 Micro Way NDP Fortran-386* compiler 

$195 386IDEBUG symbolic debugger 

$295 3861 VMM - developer version of the 
Phar Lap Virtual Memory Manager 

(617) 6614510 


60 Aberdeen Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 

Fax: (617) 876-2972 



Phar Lap and 386 1 DOS-Extender and 386 1 VMM are trademarks of Phar Lap Software, Inc. MS-DOS and MASM are registered trademarks 
of Microsoft Corp. DESKPRO 386 is a trademark of Compaq Corp. NDP Fortran-386 is a trademark of Micro Way, Inc. High C and 
I ■ ional Pascal are trademarks of MetaWare Incorporated. IBM Model 70/80 is a trademark 
of IBM Corp. 


disk benchmark and required 3 1 seconds 
to load the large spreadsheet, three times 
longer than it took the Regal II. Other 
file I/O applications were similarly slow. 

The IBM PS/2 Model P70 had the low- 
est score of the 20-MHz CPUs tested, but 
that is no disgrace, given the quality of 
portables in this field. The P70 posted 
results in line with those of a desktop 
Model 70-121 (a 20-MHz 80386 ma- 
chine), so you can now lug around the 
equivalent of a top-of-the-line PS/2. 

Transferring the benchmark files un- 
covered another slight annoyance. Both 
the P70 and the Regal II lack a 9-pin 
serial port. Granted, adapters are easy 
enough to find, but didn't IBM introduce 
the 9-pin serial port? Now that the 9-pin 
connection has become a standard in the 
portable world, IBM has unveiled a por- 
table without one. Go figure. 

The NEC ProSpeed finished surpris- 
ingly strong, scoring higher than the 16- 
MHz Toshiba T5100. A fast hard disk 
drive helped the ProSpeed. The Power- 
Mate scored credibly on our CPU bench- 
mark, but it consistently placed at the 
bottom of our applications tests. The 
CPU works well, until you access the 
narrow data path. The Zenith Turbo- 
sPort 386 performed adequately for a 
machine with a 12-MHz CPU, while the 
GRiDCases' 12.5-MHz CPUs kept those 
two models at or near the bottom of every 

King of the Road 

When it comes to choosing the best por- 
table computer in the bunch, we're hard- 
pressed to make a choice. All the porta- 
bles we've tested run well; you just can't 
go wrong with any of them. 

Our particular favorite was the To- 
shiba T5200. It's an excellent combina- 
tion of computing power and portability 
all wrapped up in an attractive shell. Un- 
fortunately, it's also one of the most ex- 
pensive portables in the group. 

At the opposite end of the economic 
scale is the Micro Express Regal II. Its 
price is an astoundingly low $2999, less 
than half the price of the Toshiba. It isn't 
at the top of the performance chart, but it 
finished third, well ahead of some pricey 

All 1 1 machines we've looked at prove 
that a well-equipped portable computer 
can match the capabilities of many desk- 
top models. A portable can now be the 
computer on your desk. ■ 

Stanford Diehl and Stan Wszola are test- 
ing editors for the BYTE Lab. They can 
be reached on BIX as "sdiehl" and 
"stan, " respectively. 

156 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 191 on Reader Service Card 

for desktop 
priced to be 

Drawing Board to Board Room 

Plot your designs, present your 
plans, and illustrate your point 
with the new HI Image Maker.™ 
Houston Instrument's newest 
plotter can improve all your images 
at a price that makes personal 
productivity gains affordable. 

Precision CAD or Graphic 

Your HI Image Maker uses a 
variety of technical pens on vellum 
or presentation bond— and produces 
vibrant color graphics on 
transparencies, paper, or vellum. 
Drawings on media up to 11 x 17 
inches can be produced quickly 
and beautifully at a resolution of 
one thousandth of an inch. 

Confidence and Value 

Industry experts agree, HI 
drafting plotters defined the price- 
performance standard for PC-based 
CAD plotters. The HI Image Maker 
is a product you can buy with 
confidence. Priced at only $1295,* 
you can use this plotter throughout 
your company— or keep it for yourself! 

For details, call 1-800-444-3425 
or 512-835-0900. 

*U.S. suggested retail price. Subject to change 

/ V ^ 



a division of AMETEK 

8500 Cameron Road, Austin, TX 78753 

Houston Instrument and HI Image Maker 
are trademarks of AMETEK, Inc 

Circle 121 on Reader Service Card 

We keep telling people 
this is not a laser printer. 

The new $995 HP DeskJet PLUS Printer. 

158 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

But they keep looking 
at the evidence. 

220 Bush Stic:. 
San Fra ncisco, CA 

De arR« dcr; 


Sa/es */Sft 


You won't believe your eyes 
(or ears), either. The HP 
DeskJet PLUS printer gives 
you the same crisp, black let- 
tering. Clean, sharp graphics. 
And whisper-quiet operation. 
But it uses advanced ink jet 
technology to supply these 
laser- like qualities for the 
price of a 24- wire printer. 

For just $995, you get 300 
dpi in a trim 15-pound pack- 
age that's twice as fast as 
the original. What's more, 
it has built-in landscape and 
improved font selection. 
Including ten built-in fonts 
and over 100 optional fonts, 
with sizes up to 30 points. 
And its 20,000-hour MTBF 

assures a long, happy life. 

So call 1-800-752-0900, Ext. 

276 J for the name of your 
nearest authorized HP dealer. 
Then judge the HP DeskJet 
PLUS printer for yourself. 


Documents created using WordPerfect 5.0 and Harvard Graphics software. 
Circle 112 on Reader Service Card 

Hewlett-Packard Company PE12912 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 159 

FLEXSCAN 9070S, PC Hi-Res 
That Looks Like a Million. 

The FLEXSCAN 9070 Multiple Scan 
monitor is of course compatible with 
other multi-scans, but includes 
improvements that will give you the 
professional edge which is the mark 
of a good investment. 
You can extend your multi-scan range 
from 20kHz to 50kHz in practical terms. 
This means that, at the 48-50 kHz 
range, you can make use of PC 
CAD/CAE capabilities at a resolution 
of up to 1024 dots X 768 lines. 
The FLEXSCAN 9070 takes advantage 
of non-interlace high resolution signal 
as high as 1024 X 768 to provide you 
with a flicker free display at much 
brightness. You can also use the 
9070 with IBM PS/2 or VGA 
compatible boards at a high resolution 
mode like 800x600 and 1024x768 

The FLEXSCAN 9070 provides a 
16-inch screen, large enough for 
CAD/CAE and 3-D projections, yet 
small enough to fit comfortably into 
your home work space. 

NAN/iO^ '" 

1024 dots X 768 lines Graphics (Non-interlace) 

Also, for your convenience, all 
controls and switches, including the 
alternate video input, are located 
within easy reach on the front panel. 
The FLEXSCAN 9070 is compatible 
with a wide range of IBM, Apple, and 
other products, allow you to use 
all of today's popular programs— -at 
a resolution that looks like a million. 




• IBM VGA(PS/2), 8514/A, PGC, EGA 
compatible and CAD/CAE use. 

• Apple Mac. E and SuperMac Spectrum 

• Max. 1280 dots X 800 lines high resolution 

• 1024 dots X 768 lines display on 
Non-interlace signal delivers flicker-free 
high-res graphics 

• 20kHz to 50kHz horizontal scan automatic 
adjustment. 50Hz to 80Hz vertical scan 
automatic adjustment 

• 16 inch, 0.31mm dot pitch and newly 
developed XF(Extended Field) Gun to 
obtain both brightness and sharp focus. 

• Front mounted controls including the input 
signal select switch between 2 video input. 

• Selecting white or Amber displays colored 
application in shades of gray or amber 

• Tilt-Swivel stand standard 




PHONE (213) 325-5202 FAX (213) 530-1679 

Specifications are subject to change without notice. 

APPLE, Macintosh H are registered trademarks of Apple Computers Inc. ARTIST. ARTIST 1 Plus. ARTIST 10. ARTIST l0/16are trademarks ol Control Systems Inc 
PC. XT. AT and PS/2 are registered trademarks ol International Business Machines Corporation SuperMac is a trademark of SuperMac Technology. SuperEGA H 
SuperVGA and SuperVGA HiRes are trademarks ol Genoa System Corporation. Orchid Designer VGA. Orchid Oesigner VGA-2 TurboEGA and TorboVGA a 
Orchid Technology Paradise VGA Prolessional Card. Paradise VGA Plus Card and Auloswitch EGA are trademarks ol Paradise Systems. Inc Parad ise Systems is a 
registered trademark of Paradise Systems. Inc VEGA Deluxe and VEGA VGA are trademarks ol Video-seven Inc. Metheus is a registered trademark of Metheus Corporation. 
Imagraph is a trademark of Imagraph Corporation, AutoCAD is a registered trademark of Autodesk Inc GEM is a registered trademark of Digital Research Inc. Lotus and 
1-2-3 are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation SigmaVGA and SigmaEGA are trademarks ol Sigma designs, Inc. FLEXSCAN is a Iradamark ol NANAO 
CORPORATION. NANAO is e registered trademark of NANAO CORPORATION 

160 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

Circle 174 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 175) 

System Review 

The Painlessly 
Portable PC 

NEC packs power into 
a seductive little 
package, but for a price 

Mark L. Van Name 
and Bill Catchings 

NEC's new UltraLite is just 
plain cute. Its sleek black fin- 
ish looks modern, while in 
size and shape it resembles a 
large hardcover book— and it's not much 
harder to carry. The 4%-pound UltraLite 
fits into any briefcase, or you can use its 
optional carrying case. (See photo.) 

You pay a pretty price, however, for 
this tiny MS-DOS machine: The basic 
UltraLite runs $2999, while our fully 
loaded evaluation unit (with $129 carry- 
ing case) would set you back $4526. 
Since a comparably equipped Toshiba 
T1000 lists for around $1700, we're 
talking about a stiff price premium. 

Taking It on the Road 

The first things to check on any portable 
computer are its screen and its keyboard. 
The UltraLite scores well on both fronts. 

The screen is a backlit, supertwist, 
electroluminescent, blue-on-white dis- 
play with a full 25 rows by 80 columns in 
a 9 ^-inch-diagonal viewing area. It em- 
ulates IBM's CGA, with seven gray 
scales instead of colors. 

The screen is nearly twice as wide (8 l A 
inches) as it is tall (4 V4 inches), so its as- 
pect ratio is a bit distorted (e.g., circles 
appear as ovals). The display phosphors 
decay so slowly that the screen is almost 
impossible to read when it scrolls. And it 
does not fare well in bright light or glare. 

The keyboard, like the screen, is ade- 
quate. Its keys are full size with an audi- 

The NEC UltraLite weighs in at only 4% pounds but offers greater performance 
than an IBM PC XT. 

ble keyclick. While the keys travel only 2 
millimeters (more than 1 mm less than 
the keys on most conventional key- 
boards), you can feel them spring back. 

The 78 keys are arranged well, with a 
row of function keys across the top and 
the numeric keypad overlaid onto other 
keys. As with most portables, you get to 
the numeric keypad and other special 
keys by using an Fn key. Unfortunately, 
NEC followed the IBM Enhanced key- 
board and put the Caps Lock key where 
our fingers expect the Control key to be. 

Overall, we give the screen and key- 
board a high B: not great, but adequate. 

Storage Options 

The next priority with any portable com- 
puter is its disk storage. The UltraLite of- 

fers several different disk options. 

Its main working storage is a "silicon 
hard disk drive," a battery-backed 1 or 2 
megabytes of DRAM with firmware that 
superbly emulates a hard disk drive. This 
drive acts as the UltraLite' s C drive. It 
appears to have 58 cylinders, four heads, 
and 17 sectors per track. Such disk util- 
ities as the Norton utilities have no trou- 
ble recognizing it as a hard disk drive. 

It's extremely fast (average access 
time is 9 milliseconds), and it makes the 
entire machine feel quicker than you 
would expect. While even 2 megabytes is 
not a lot of disk space, it's enough for one 
or two applications and their data. 

Of course, you have to be able to load 
and back up the silicon hard disk drive. 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 161 




NEC Home Electronics (U.S.A.), Inc. 
Computer Products Division 
1255 Michael Dr. 
Wood Dale, IL 60191 


Processor: 9.83-MHz NEC V30 
Memory: 640K bytes of 120-ns DRAM 
on motherboard; 128K bytes of BIOS 

Mass storage: 1 - or 2-megabyte silicon 
hard disk drive; optional external 1 .44- 
megabyte 3 1 /2-inch floppy disk drive; 
optional 256K-byte RAM card; optional 
ROM software cards 
Display: Backlit, supertwist, 
electroluminescent, blue-on-white LCD 
with CGA emulation via seven gray 
scales; CGA support on the motherboard . 
Keyboard: 78 keys in IBM Enhanced 
layout; indicator lights on Caps Lock and 
Num Lock keys; uses Fn key to provide 
numeric keypad and page keys 
I/O interfaces: One RS-232C serial port 
with mini-DIN-9 connector; two RJ-11 
connectors for the built-in modem's 
telephone and line inputs; one mini-DIN-8 
connector for the AC power adapter; 
one 68-pin NEC-proprietary connector for 
the external disk drive 


11 3 / 4 x 8 1 / 3 x 1% inches; 4% pounds 


MS-DOS 3.3 (subset); MS-DOS 
Manager 2.0; LapLink 2.16a; SETUP 


Quick-start guide; portable guide; 
comprehensive user's manual 


UltraLite with 1 -megabyte silicon hard 

disk drive: $2999 
UltraLite with 2-megabyte silicon hard 

disk drive: $3699 
System as reviewed: $4526 

Inquiry 853. 

NEC offers four ways to get those jobs 
done. The simplest is the optional exter- 
nal 1.44-megabyte 3%-inch disk drive, 
which NEC calls its FDD-BOX ($399). 
The FDD-BOX is 4'/ 4 inches wide, 6% 
inches deep, and 2 inches high, and it 
weighs a little under 2 pounds. It con- 
nects to a 68-pin NEC-proprietary exter- 
nal connector on the rear of the UltraLite 
and appears as the machine's A drive. 

Unfortunately, the FDD-BOX draws 
its considerable power from the Ultra- 

Lite. Therefore, you can use the drive 
only when the UltraLite is running off 
the standard-equipment AC power adapt- 
er that plugs into a mini-DIN-8 connec- 
tor on the rear of the machine. 

Inside the FDD-BOX is a TEAC flop- 
py disk drive. Under that drive is an NEC 
4- by 6-inch floppy disk drive controller 
that uses Western Digital's controller 
chip and about 16 support chips. The 
FDD-BOX also has a standard female 
DB-25 parallel connector on its rear, to 
which you could attach a printer. 

We don't see how anyone would want 
to live with any machine without a disk 
drive, but it is possible. For one thing, 
you can transfer files to another ma- 
chine. NEC includes Traveling Soft- 
ware's LapLink program in the Ultra- 
Lite's ROM. (The ROM appears as the 
UltraLite's D drive.) Because you also 
need a copy of LapLink on the other ma- 
chine, the UltraLite comes with both 
3 l /2-inch and 5 l 4-inch LapLink disks. 

You can hook up to another machine 
with the null-modem cable that is in- 
cluded. This cable has a female DB-25 
serial connector that hooks up to the sec- 
ond machine. The connector appears to 
the UltraLite as its COM1 serial port. 
Unfortunately, you have to use that spe- 
cific cable, because the UltraLite's RS- 
232C connector is a nonstandard mini- 
DIN-9 jack. While there seems to be 
enough room for a standard DB-9 con- 
nector, an NEC spokesperson said that 
the firm chose the smaller nonstandard 
connector to save space. 

While the disk drive and LapLink are 
the UltraLite's two main links to the out- 
side world, NEC offers two others that 
involve a tiny expansion slot under a 
cover on the right side of the unit. This 
slot accepts RAM and ROM cards that 
are the width and length of credit cards 
but about twice as thick. NEC offers both 
256K-byte battery-backed RAM cards 
($299 each) and ROM cards. Both types 
appear to the UltraLite as its B drive. 
You can pull these cards out and insert 
new ones while the machine is running, 
as you would with floppy disks. The 
256K-byte RAM card uses a replaceable 
3-volt lithium battery that NEC claims is 
good for up to 6 months. 

NEC says that it will offer both 5 1 2K- 
byte and 1 -megabyte ROM cards con- 
taining such applications as Lotus 1-2-3 
and WordPerfect. NEC was unable to 
furnish us with any ROM cards by our 
deadline, however, and only time will 
tell how many companies will produce 
software on this nonstandard medium. 
(An NEC spokesperson said that the 
firm was to begin snipping ROM cards in 

June and estimated that they will cost 
roughly the normal price of the software 
they contain plus $50 for the card itself.) 
The UltraLite also includes an inter- 
nal 2400-bps Hayes-compatible modem 
hooked to its COM2 serial port. There 
are two standard RJ-1 1 connectors on the 
rear of the machine with which you can 
link the modem to a phone jack and a 
telephone. The UltraLite includes cables 
for both connections. 

Compatibility and Performance 

The UltraLite ran everything we threw at 
it, including Borland's Quattro 1.0, Re- 
flex 1.14, SideKick 1.56a, SuperKey 
1.16a, Turbo Basic 1.1, Turbo C 2.0, 
and Turbo Pascal 4.0; Digitalk's Small- 
talk/V 1.2; Kermit 2.30; MicroPro's 
WordStar 3.3 and 4.0; Microsoft's PC 
Paintbrush 2.0 and Word 4.0; the Norton 
Utilities 3.00; Quarterdeck's DESQview 
2.0; and Symantec's Q&A 1 .0. 

The UltraLite supports these applica- 
tions with a subset of MS-DOS 3 . 3 that is 
built into its D-drive ROM. That ROM 
also contains Microsoft's MS-DOS Man- 
ager 2 .0, a good but not outstanding DOS 
shell, and a SETUP program. The sys- 
tem boots into the MS-DOS Manager by 
default, but you can have it go straight to 
MS-DOS by changing a line in the stan- 
dard AUTOEXEC.BAT file. 

SETUP runs as a TSR program. With 
it you can choose the boot disk, set the 
CPU speed, and change several screen 
options, the most interesting of which is a 
color palette that lets you determine how 
the UltraLite maps the 16 possible CGA 
colors to its seven gray shades. 

While the U ltraLite is in many ways a 
portable XT compatible, it offers far bet- 
ter than IBM XT performance. Its ex- 
tremely fast silicon hard disk drive helps 
a lot. Its CPU, a 9.83-MHz NEC V30 
with a compatibility speed of 4.92 MHz, 
also performs well; the UltraLite's 640K 
bytes of system RAM uses eight 1 -mega- 
bit 120-nanosecond DRAM chips that let 
the V30 run with no wait states. The 
combination gives the machine the feel 
of an AT with a very fast hard disk drive. 

The BYTE disk I/O benchmarks did 
show an anomaly on the 32-sector DOS 
Seek test. The time of 90.40 seconds 
does not match up with the single-sector 
time of 3.48 seconds. A spokesperson for 
NEC suggested that the result could have 
occurred because the UltraLite emulates 
a hard disk drive controller using soft- 
ware that calculates a checksum for each 
sector. The algorithm for generating 
these checksums may have been at fault. 
In our side-by-side comparisons with 


162 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

NEC UltraLite 


XyWrite 111+ 3.52 

Load (large) 

Word count 


End of document 

Block move 

Spelling check 
Microsoft Word 4.0 

Forward delete 
Aldus PageMaker 1 .0a * 








dBASENI+ 1.1* 

D Index: 

Lotus 1-2-3 2.01 

Block copy 

Load Monte Carlo 
Recalc Monte Carlo 
Load rlarge3 
Recalc rlarge3 
Recalc Goal-seek 
Microsoft Excel 2.0 
Fill right 
Load rlarge3 
Recalc rlarge3 






D Index: 

AutoCAD 2.52 


Regen SoftWest 

Load StPauls 

Regen StPauls 

ST AT A 1.5 


MathCAD 2.0 

IFS 800 pts. 












□ Index: 

Microsoft C 5.0 

XLisp compile 
Turbo Pascal 4.0 

Pascal S compile 



□ Index: 


□ Index: 


All times are in minutes:seconds. Indexes show relative performance; for all indexes, an 8-MHz IBM PC AT= 1 . 

*Due to the limited space on the UltraLite's silicon hard disk drive, we were unable to run every application test of the BYTE 
benchmarks. Tests using Aldus PageMaker and dBASE III Plus were omitted. We also omitted the results of those tests for 
the systems used for comparison and adjusted their application indexes accordingly. 


String Move 





□ Index: 












Hard Seek 3 

Outer track 
Inner track 
Half platter 
Full platter 

DOS Seek 

1 -sector 


File I/O* 

1 -megabyte 





□ Index: 


□ Index: 



Mode 1 
Mode 2 
Mode 3 
Mode 7 
Mode 4 
Mode 5 
Mode 6 
Mode 13 
Mode 14 
Mode 15 
Mode 16 
Mode 18 
Mode 19 





N/A=Not applicable. 

1 All times are in seconds. Figures were generated using the 8088/8086 
version (1.1) of Small-C. 

2 The errors for Floating Point indicate the difference between expected and 
actual values, correct to 10 digits or rounded to 2 digits. 

3 Times reported by the Hard Seek and DOS Seek are for multiple seek 
operations (number of seeks performed currently set to 100). 

4 Read and write times for File I/O are in seconds per 64K bytes. 

5 For the Livermore Loops and Dhrystone tests only, higher numbers mean 
faster performance. 

□ Index: 



UNPACK 7154.48 

Livermore Loops 5 

(MFLOPS) 0.00 

Dhrystone (MS C 5.0) 

(Dhry/sec) 1422 

NEC UltraLite 

Zenith SupersPort 286 5.9 



Epson Equity LT 3.0 

IBM PC AT 4.0 



Word | — I 

Processing I I 

Spreadsheet [ | 

Database |_J 

Scientific/ . — . 

Engineering I I 

Compilers | | 

NEC UltraLite 

Zenith SupersPort 286 

Epson Equity LT 




Disk I/O [Zl 

Video LJ 

For a ful! description of all the benchmarks, see "Introducing the New BYTE Benchmarks," June 1988 BYTE. 

AUGUST 1989 • B Y T E 163 

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conventional hard disk drives, however, 
the UltraLite's silicon hard disk drive 
performed well and showed no signs of a 

Interestingly, the V30 is socketed on 
the motherboard, so perhaps NEC plans 
some future CPU upgrade. However, the 
UltraLite has no coprocessor socket. 

The UltraLite's ROM BIOS is Phoenix 
Technologies' version 2.52, so the ma- 
chine should not have any compatibility 
problems there. 

Our Microsoft Serial Mouse worked 
fine with the unit, although we needed a 
DB-9-to-DB-25 adapter to connect it to 
the machine's null-modem cable. 

Nice, but for How Long? 

The final key aspect of any battery- 
driven portable computer is its battery 
life— how long you can go between re- 
charges. With the UltraLite, that's actu- 
ally a two-part issue. 

The main system power comes from a 
rechargeable nickel-cadmium "battery" 
that is actually a collection of seven Mo- 
licel nickel-cadmium batteries wired to- 
gether. This battery is supposedly good 
for about 2 hours with the basic Ultra- 
Lite. On our fully loaded evaluation 
unit, however, we got only 1 hour and 25 
minutes of constant use before the first 
warning message. Fortunately, that mes- 
sage and the accompanying low-battery 
indicator light come about 5 minutes be- 
fore you actually run out of power, so 
you can save your work. 

The other half of the UltraLite's bat- 
tery picture is a separate rechargeable 
nickel-cadmium battery that supports the 
silicon hard disk drive. It's good for five 
to seven days between charges. 

The UltraLite' s batteries are one of the 
machine's biggest frustrations. An hour 
and a half just isn't enough time. We 
could live with it, however, if we could 
just carry a few spare batteries. There 
are even openings on the bottom of the 
unit for both batteries. Unfortunately, 
you can't replace the batteries yourself. 
This is clearly an area for NEC to im- 
prove in the next UltraLite. 

A Peek Inside 

To get a better look inside, you can take 
the UltraLite apart. We did, but you defi- 
nitely need to be careful. This little won- 
der is packed tightly. 

Its motherboard sits under the ultra- 
thin keyboard. The board is essentially 
the same width and length as the case, 
with cutouts for a system ROM card and 
the silicon hard disk drive card, both of 
which you can reach via covers on the 
bottom. The board has fewer than 30 

chips, including the eight memory chips. 
Fewer than a dozen chips do most of the 
work. In fact, on this board the analog 
devices and support parts (such as capac- 
itors) almost outnumber the digital parts. 

Documentation and Support 

The UltraLite's three manuals are all 
useful and very well written. The quick- 
start manual is a model for books of its 
kind. Even novice users can follow its 
clear instructions easily, and it uses pic- 
tures frequently and effectively. The 
portable guide, which is also very well 
done, contains most of the data you need 
on the road. 

The comprehensive user's manual is a 
thorough reference guide to all of the sys- 
tem's capabilities. It does not, however, 
contain a complete MS-DOS reference 
section; if you want that, the manuals 
suggest that you buy an MS-DOS book. 

If you need help, you can call NEC 
technical support toll-free. Unfortu- 
nately, while we found the technical- 
support number in several NEC ads, it 
was not in the manuals. (An NEC 
spokesperson said that this problem has 
been corrected in subsequent printings of 
the manuals.) The warranty information 
in the comprehensive user's manual 
listed a number to call with problems 
other than repairs, and you can get from 
that number to technical support. The 
technical-support people with whom we 
talked were friendly and helpful. Expect 
to wait for them, however, as NEC's 
lines were usually busy when we called. 

The UltraLite includes a one-year 
warranty, and you can buy up to three 
additional years of protection for $300 
per year for a unit with a 1 -megabyte sili- 
con hard disk drive, or $370 per year for 
the 2-megabyte version. 

Sleek and Expensive 

The UltraLite clearly defines a new size 
standard for portable MS-DOS com- 
puters; no other machine comes close. It 
looks great and doesn't weigh much. 

Unfortunately, it is also extremely ex- 
pensive. You can buy some 80386 porta- 
bles for almost the same money. In the 
end, you have to decide how you want to 
look at it: Are you getting a lot of com- 
puter for the size, or not enough com- 
puter for the money? We don't know how 
you would vote, but we both wish that we 
could afford an UltraLite. ■ 

Mark L. Van Name and Bill Catchings are 
independent consultants and freelance 
writers based in Raleigh, North Caro- 
lina. They can be reached on BIX as 
"mvanname " and "wbc3, " respectively. 

164 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

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166 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 

Circle 35 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 36) 

Hardware Review 

Ultra Graphics 

The Ultra Clipper 
UM1280, Pixelworks' 
coprocessor, brings 
enhanced graphics 
to MCA-compatible 

Bradley Dyck Kliewer 

ixel works has taken a big step 
in the Micro Channel market by 
becoming one of the first com- 
panies to introduce a high-reso- 
lution (1280- by 1024-pixel) bus-master- 
ing graphics controller for the PS/2s, the 
Ultra Clipper UM1280. As a bus-mas- 
tering device, the Ultra Clipper can take 
temporary control of the bus and directly 
transfer data without intervention from 
the CPU. This improves system through- 
put by leaving the CPU free for other 

The Ultra Clipper requires a Micro 
Channel-compatible bus with two empty 
slots. Depending on the configuration, 
you need either a 30- to 64-kHz multifre- 
quency monitor (when using a single 
monitor for both the VGA and Ultra 
Clipper high-resolution display) or sepa- 
rate VGA and 64-kHz monitors. 

The board is available in two configu- 
rations: a 4-bit, 16-color version 
($2895), and an 8-bit, 256-color version 
($4095). Each includes a Texas Instru- 
ments 320C25 chip— a more general- 
purpose processor than the 34010 and 
better suited to the programming needs 

of the Ultra Clipper. The 8-bit board 
contains 1.25 megabytes of display 
RAM— just enough to hold the graphics 
data for a 1280- by 1024-pixel by 8-color 
display (the 4-bit-plane model has half as 
much memory). 

The Ultra Clipper is clearly targeted 
for CAD markets; the only drivers sup- 
plied with my board were for AutoCAD 
(ADI drivers for releases 9 and 10), 
VersaCAD, and Bentley Microstation. 

Dual-Slot Configuration 

Installing the Ultra Clipper is fairly 
easy. The board includes two switch 
blocks for specifying monitor types, and 
it requires two adjacent slots (any two 
Micro Channel slots will work, including 
mixed slots— one 16-bit and one 32-bit). 
The installation program, which you 
copy onto the IBM installation disk, per- 
formed flawlessly. You can use the Ultra 
Clipper in a two-monitor system (the best 
option), or you can install a pass-through 
cable between the VGA output and the 
Ultra Clipper to use a single monitor. 

I tested the 8-bit-plane (256-color) Ul- 
tra Clipper on a 20-MHz IBM PS/2 
Model 70-121 running DOS 3.3 with a 
Mitsubishi HL 6905 multifrequency 
monitor. When I configured the board as 
a single-monitor system, the Model 70 
failed its self test, generating a video 
adapter error. But when I bypassed the 
error message, the system worked per- 
fectly. IBM has modified the monitor de- 
tection routines in some PS/2 models, 
and the system wasn't detecting a valid 
monitor type (the VGA output connects 
to the pass-through adapter instead of to 
the monitor). Pixelworks sent a new 
pass-through daughterboard that 
changed the resistance slightly, solving 
the problem. 

Unlike graphics coprocessors that are 
I/O-mapped, the Ultra Clipper can work 
in either I/O- or memory-mapped mode. 
In I/O-mapped applications, all the 
drawing commands pass through the I/O 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 167 

Circle 52 on Reader Service Card 


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registers, which typically run at a slower 
speed than memory. In memory-mapped 
mode, the PC stores lists of drawing 
commands and parameters in a memory 
buffer; the Ultra Clipper then uses its 
bus-mastering capability to process the 
display list directly from PC memory. 
The processing benefits both from the 
faster speed ofmemory and from the lack 
of system CPU overhead. 

When using memory buffers, the 
board further improves performance 
through double buffering. The applica- 
tion reserves two areas in system mem- 
ory to act as command buffers. While 
the CPU writes commands to one mem- 
ory buffer, the Ultra Clipper reads com- 
mands from the other. The Pixelworks 

PHLIP (Pixelworks High-Level Interac- 
tive Protocol) libraries, which are avail- 
able for several C compilers, provide 
functions that make writing double-buf- 
fered programs simple. I ran tests in both 
unbuffered and buffered modes (the buf- 
fered modes used two 2K-byte buffers); 
the speed difference can be dramatic. 

The Ultra Clipper's graphics com- 
mands create an entire programming 
language of sorts, supporting NOOPs 
(no operations), rudimentary flow con- 
trol, and comments. The graphics in- 
structions are rich: In addition to the 

basic points, polylines, polygons, and 
text, the Ultra Clipper supports circles, 
ellipses, arcs, and Bezier curves. You 
can also specify points, polylines, poly- 
gons, and Bezier curves in three-dimen- 
sional coordinates, and there are func- 
tions for modifying the view. The Ultra 
Clipper also provides BitBlt functions 
for transferring data between the system 
and adapter memory or for copying data 
from one screen area to another. 

Programming the Ultra Clipper is 
simple. The PHLIP documentation 
(available on request) includes program 
fragments with most of the function-call 
descriptions, and the descriptions are 
fairly complete. The documentation in- 
cludes several complete program listings 
that are useful for learning PHLIP. 

Performing Arts 

I adapted the test programs from the 
BYTE graphics benchmarks and com- 
piled them with Microsoft C 5.1. The 
programs are similar to those used for 
my review of the IBM 8514/A and Artist 
10 MC graphics boards ("Pixels on the 
March," January BYTE). To test mem- 
ory transfer speeds, I also adapted the 
BITBLT program from the review "De- 
bunking 16-bit VGA" (June BYTE). 

The test results, which appear in tables 
1 and 2, were remarkable. The detail 
available in AutoCAD is impressive, and 
the proportionally spaced roman font 
used for the menus is attractive. For 
graphics-intensive work, the Ultra Clip- 
per outperforms both the IBM 8514/A 
and the Artist 10 MC. And, as with any 
graphics coprocessor, drawing com- 
mands execute hundreds of times faster 
than standard graphics adapters such as 
EGA and VGA. AutoCAD times are 
about the same for VGA and Ultra Clip- 
per, but the Ultra Clipper displays over 

Table 1: BYTE benchmark results 

for the Ultra Clipper 


Benchmark times are in 




Load and draw 







Load and draw 




Table 2: BITBLT test results. Times are in seconds. BITBLT copies an 8- or 

1 6-pixel by 1-line block from one screen area to another. The BITBLT P tests 

copy the same information from system memory to the screen. 

The BITBLT2 tests perform the same functions using an 8- by 8-pixel or 

16- by 16-pixel block. Note the faster times for the BITBLT2 tests, 

which require fewer instructions to fill the screen. 



























168 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 


Circle 53 on Reader Service Card 

four times as many pixels, and when you 
remove system overhead (using RE- 
DRAW instead of REGEN), the Ultra 
Clipper is over twice as fast. 

Ultra Clipper's primary disadvantage 
is its physical design. It uses several 
daughtercards (looking down on the 
card, there are three layers of boards), 
which requires two slots in the host com- 
puter. For users of the Model 70 or 
Model 50, this leaves only one slot free. 
The monitor connection uses a 9-pin D- 
shell instead of the 15-pin D-shell that 
IBM uses for PS/2 video connections (a 
15-pin connector is too thick to fit be- 
tween the sandwiched boards). And on 
single-monitor configurations, the pass- 
through cable adds an extra cord outside 
the system unit. 

Using a pass-through cable is an un- 
derstandable design decision. It simpli- 
fies the design of the Ultra Clipper, since 
Pixelworks doesn't need to replicate the 
VGA D/A converter, which could poten- 
tially create minor incompatibilities with 
the VGA. Also, a video extension would 
limit the Ultra Clipper to one position in 
the machine— not a desirable option 
when the board requires two slots. 

A Niche Fit 

On Micro Channel systems that have sev- 
eral free slots, I wouldn't hesitate to rec- 
ommend the Ultra Clipper. But on 
smaller systems, such as the Model 70, 
consider your expansion needs carefully. 
Adding a single card would fill the sys- 
tem. I typically add either a tape backup 
or a network card, which would leave no 
room for additional memory (not as big a 
concern on the Model 70, which can take 
up to 8 megabytes on the system board) 
or other options. 

The Ultra Clipper is far superior to 
high-resolution VG^. It's also competi- 
tively priced with other graphics copro- 
cessor boards, with the exception of the 
IBM 85 14/ A, which costs about $2700 
less. However, the Ultra Clipper has 
some advantages over the 85 14/ A. Its 
1280- by 1024-pixel noninterlaced dis- 
play is much sharper. Also, the board's 
bus-mastering capabilities and its exten- 
sive drawing primitives give the Ultra 
Clipper a potential performance advan- 
tage over other coprocessor boards when 
it's used with CAD packages that support 
the board's hardware-level primitives 
(currently, PCAD, for which Pixelworks 
is developing drivers, is the only CAD 
package that supports advanced hard- 
ware primitives). 

Advances in software always lag be- 
hind hardware, so you probably won't 
see commercial software supporting the 




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Hudson, NH 03051 
(800) 247-2476 


Maximum 1280- by 1024-pixel 
resolution, noninterlaced; 16 colors from a 
palette of 4.096 million (4-bit board), or 
256 colors from a palette of 16.7 million 
(8-bit board); three-dimensional support, 
including real-time pan and zoom; 
driver software for AutoCAD, VersaCAD, 
and Bentley Microstation 
CAD programs 


Full-length (requires 2 slots) 

board's more advanced features for some 
time. But if you write your own graphics 
routines for custom applications, the Ul- 
tra Clipper is a terrific combination of 
high resolution, powerful graphics prim- 
itives, and easy-to-program routines. ■ 

Editor's note: The test programs used for 
this review are available on BIX as Clip- 
per. ARC. They're also available in a va- 

IBM PS/2 Micro Channel or compatible 
computer; 64-kHz monitor and VGA- 
compatible monitor (for dual-monitor 
system), or 30- to 64-kHz multifrequency 
monitor for VGA pass-through 
(for single-monitor system) 

Software Needed 

DOS 3.3 or higher 


Installation manual, PHLIP 
programmer's guide (available on 


4-bit (16 colors): $2895 
8-bit (256 colors): $4095 

Inquiry 852. 

riety of other formats. See page 5 for 

Bradley Dyck Kliewer is the author of 
EGA/VGA: A Programmer's Reference 
Guide (McGraw-Hill, 1988) and princi- 
pal of DK Micro Consultants, a micro- 
computer consulting business in Bloo- 
ming ton, Indiana. You can reach him on 
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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 169 

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Software Review 


and OS/2 
Join Forces 

Three Modula-2 
compilers take advantage 
of OS/2's features 

Andrew Schulman 

Although Microsoft endorses C 
as the language of choice for 
OS/2 development, Niklaus 
Wirth's Modula-2 is better 
suited to exploit OS/2's multitasking and 
dynamic linking capabilities. At the core 
of Modula-2 are the twin concepts of pro- 
cess and module] these conveniently map 
onto OS/2 threads and dynamic-link 
libraries (DLLs). 

I'll look at three implementations of 
Modula-2 for OS/2: Logitech's Modula 
OS/2 1.00, TopSpeed Modula-2 OS/2 
1.20 from Jensen and Partners Interna- 
tional (JPI), and Stony Brook's Profes- 
sional Modula-2 2.0. I'll focus on the 
OS/2-specif ic features of each compiler: 
support for the OS/2 API (Application 
Programming Interface), PM (Presenta- 
tion Manager) applications, DLLs, vir- 
tual memory, run-time error checking, 
and protected-mode debugging. 

The OS/2 API, Modula-2-Style 

All three compilers provide API bindings 
in the form of Modula-2 definition mod- 
ules (.DEF files). Both Stony Brook and 
JPI divide the API .DEF files along the 
lines that OS/2 itself uses: DOS (the 
OS/2 kernel), VIO, KBD, and MOU. 
Logitech uses a different scheme, break- 
ing the API down into smaller modules, 
such as DynLink, FilelO, MemManager, 
MultiTasking, and Misc. 

The OS/2 API (unlike the MS-DOS 
programming interface) was designed to 
be used from high-level languages. 

Thus, you can use the OS/2 procedures, 
constants, and data structures exported 
from the three vendors' API modules just 
as you would any other Modula-2 ex- 
ports. Of course, programs using these 
features will only run under OS/2. 

Say you wanted to use the OS/2 Dos- 
GetlnfoSeg routine. DOS. DEF exports 
this in JPI, DOSCALLS.DEF in Stony 
Brook, and MISC. DEF in Logitech. You 
could either IMPORT the specific rou- 
tine from the appropriate module (e.g., 
or you could IMPORT the entire module 
(e.g., IMPORT MISC) and then call the 
routine using its qualified name (e.g., 

When you call DosGetlnfoSeg, by 
whatever means, you pass two segment 
selectors— one for the global-informa- 
tion segment, one for the local-informa- 
tion segment. Although selectors are 
words (2-byte quantities), you can't, in 
C, simply pass DosGetlnfoSeg a pair of 
selectors by value. OS/2 expects refer- 
ences, so you must either pass pointers to 
selectors or, alternatively, declare selec- 
tors but pass their addresses. In Modula- 
2, though, VAR parameters are automat- 
ically passed by reference. You declare a 
selector and pass it to OS/2. This method 
simplifies working with the OS/2 API. 

You need to turn the selector that Dos- 
GetlnfoSeg passes into a 4-byte far 
pointer that you can use to access the 
values stored in the information seg- 
ment. In Microsoft C, a utility macro, 
MAKEP, performs the necessary con- 
version. None of the Modula-2 environ- 
ments provide an equivalent function, 
and you can't just use a Modula-2 abso- 
lute variable to point to the information 
segment— its selector isn't available until 
run time. Both Stony Brook and Logi- 
tech require you (and JPI permits you) to 
put the selector in the segment slot of an 
address variable and then assign the vari- 
able to a long pointer. The address type 
in Modula-2 is implementation-depen- 
dent; all three compilers tailor it to work 

with selectors. JPI also provides a power- 
ful, although nonportable, extension that 
simplifies this process. You can use a 
pointer constructor to cast an address 
(given in segment: of f set form) directly to 
a far pointer. 

JPI and Logitech supply header files 
(Modula-2 .DEF files) for the enormous 
PM API; Stony Brook doesn't yet, but 
expects to in a forthcoming release. JPI 
and Stony Brook also provide stand- 
alone graphics modules that don't rely on 
PM. Because multiple threads can call 
these graphics modules simultaneously, 
you can use the Stony Brook and JPI com- 
pilers to easily produce multitasking 
graphics programs. To demonstrate its 
graphics module, Stony Brook includes a 
Paint program— written in 500 lines of 
Modula-2— that's virtually identical to 
the Paint program that comes with the 
MS-DOS version of Stony Brook's 

All three compilers work well with the 
OS/2 API— because Modula-2 helps the 
programmer localize the parts of a pro- 
gram that import and use OS/2's ser- 
vices. You can do the same thing in C, 
but you have to work at it. Where C 
merely permits modularity, Modula-2 
encourages it. 

Building DLLs 

Modula-2, like Ada, specializes in the 
construction of abstract data types 
(ADTs) and the definition of operations 
on those types. In an ADT, a Modula-2 
definition module exports an opaque 
type and a set of operations; the internal 
data representation is not exported. 
OS/2's DLLs are a perfect vehicle for 
implementing Modula-2 abstract data 
types. Because a DLL can export code 
but no data, implementing a module as a 
DLL guarantees a functional interface 
between the module and its clients. 

DLLs are tricky to build— in part, be- 
cause they must be reentrant. OS/2's 
own DLLs (such as VIOCALLS.DLL), 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 171 





Logitech Modula OS/2 1 .00 Stony Brook Professional Modula-2 2.0 TopSpeed Modula-2 OS/2 1 .20 

Logitech, Inc. 
6505 Kaiser Dr. 
Fremont, CA 94555 

Stony Brook Software, Inc. 
1 87 East Wilbur Rd, Suite 9 
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 
(800) 624-7487 

Jensen and Partners 

International, Inc. 

1101 San Antonio Rd., Suite 301 

Mountain View, C A 94043 


OS/2-capable PC compatible 

OS/2-capable PC compatible 

OS/2-capable PC compatible 

OS/2 1.0 or 1.1 

OS/2 1.0 or 1.1 

OS/2 1.0 or 1.1 




Inquiry 883. 

Inquiry 884. 

Inquiry 882. 

for example, are used simultaneously by 
different processes and by different 
threads within the same process. Design- 
ing reentrant code takes special care. But 
another big obstacle to the widespread 
use of DLLs has been the awkward 
mechanism Microsoft has provided for 
building them. With Microsoft C 5.1, 
you have to use special DLL-oriented 
libraries to create a DLL. All three 
Modula-2 compilers dispense with this 
problem. Modula-2 compilers naturally 
produce DLL-ready code (i.e., code that 
doesn't assume that the stack and data 
segments are one and the same). This is 
crucial to OS/2 programming for two 
reasons. First, code in a DLL doesn't 
have its own stack; it uses its caller's 
stack. Second, although OS/2 threads 
(lightweight processes) share data space, 
each maintains its own stack. 

Although all three compilers can eas- 
ily make DLLs, JPI's scheme is the most 
convenient. JPI provides its own linker, 
which is well integrated with the auto- 
matic make facility. The make proce- 
dure in the JPI TopSpeed compilers is 
controlled by a dynamic-library descrip- 
tion (.DLD) file that contains linker di- 
rectives. To build a DLL, you simply put 
the -main directive in a program's .DLD 
file (because a DLL has no main entry 
point). The JPI integrated environment 
looks for a .DLD file when making an 
application. You can have JPI automati- 
cally put your newly built DLL in its 
proper place in your OS/2 LIBPATH. 

Just as Modula-2 modules can have 
initialization routines, so can DLLs. But 
using this feature of DLLs is another as- 
pect of OS/2 programming that the 
Microsoft tools handle awkwardly: You 
have to drop into assembly language to 
tell OS/2 to call the initialization routine. 
JPI solves this problem neatly. The 
INITDLL module, which is written in 
assembly language and which contains 
the necessary instructions, gets assem- 
bled by JPI's built-in assembler and can 

be included with each DLL. 

Both Logitech and JPI provide the 
Modula-2 run-time library in DLL form. 
The Logitech compiler uses the DLL 
version by default, and so produces ex- 
tremely small executables. The JPI com- 
piler doesn't use the DLL version until 
you ask it to do so— by putting an option 
into the DEFAULT. DLD file. The first 
time you compile with that option, the 
compiler builds the run-time DLL and 
puts it on your LIBPATH. Stony Brook's 
compiler doesn't provide a run-time 
DLL, but the company says that its forth- 
coming QuickMod product will. 

Portable Multitasking 

Unlike the original Modula, Modula-2 
doesn't include multitasking or interpro- 
cess communication (IPC) primitives as 
part of the language definition. Niklaus 
Wirth argued that such facilities should 
be made available by way of an appropri- 
ate library module. In Programming in 
Modula-2, Wirth illustrates such a mod- 
ule, called Processes. JPI and Stony 
Brook each provide a version of this 
module. Logitech doesn't, although you 
can, of course, create one (and Logitech 
says the forthcoming version 2.0 will 
provide one). 

An ideal Modula-2 program for OS/2 
wouldn't look like an OS/2 program at 
all. Instead of calling native OS/2 rou- 
tines like DosCreateThread directly, a 
program should handle threads and IPC 
by way of generic facilities defined in 
Processes, thereby remaining portable. 
That's just how the multitasking demos 
provided by JPI and Stony Brook work. 
Each program creates a set of windows 
under the control of multiple threads; 
each window executes a unique task and 
moves around on the screen under inde- 
pendent control. 

Because these programs are written in 
terms of Processes, and because the two 
vendors' DOS products also implement 
Processes, you can compile them under 

DOS, and they run identically. Of 
course, since Wirth 's Processes module 
isn't yet a standard, the JPI and Stony 
Brook interpretations of it differ. While 
multitasking constructs are not portable 
between Modula-2 implementations, 
within an implementation of Modula-2, 
you can write a multitasking program 
that will port between OS/2 and DOS. 

Although none of the compilers as- 
sumes an equivalence between the stack 
and data segments, there's the additional 
question of reentrancy in the standard 
libraries. As C programmers know, the 
use of static data in routines, such as 
printf , can cause problems in a multi- 
threaded environment. Wirth's recom- 
mended solution is to make a module a 
monitor and assign it a priority, ensuring 
mutual exclusion. Only Stony Brook im- 
plements this scheme, by means of the 
OS/2 routine DosEnterCritSec. In prin- 
ciple, it's not a good idea to use DosEn- 
terCritSec this way; it suspends all 
other processes, even ones that aren't 
trying to enter the monitor. Semaphores 
would be the preferred solution. Never- 
theless, Stony Brook's scheme seems to 
work well, since a given thread of execu- 
tion stays within the library only briefly. 

Big Country 

OS/2 offers not only big memory (a 16- 
megabyte address space) but, equally 
important, virtual memory. In a prop- 
erly configured OS/2 system, the 
amount of free disk space is a better indi- 
cator of available memory than the 
amount of RAM. Modula-2 programs 
built using any of these Modula-2 com- 
pilers enjoy these benefits. None of the 
compilers emulates Microsoft C's ineffi- 
cient but convenient huge construct, 
however, so you can't statically allocate 
anything larger than 64K bytes. 

All three compilers supply a Storage 
module that maps Modula-2's ALLO- 
DISPOSE to OS/2 memory management 

172 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 



routines. JPI's Storage module uses an 
OS/2 feature called suballocation— the 
allocation of chunks of memory from a 
previously allocated pool. Suballocation 
is slower than normal allocation. In a test 
program that attempted to create an infi- 
nitely long linked list, JPFs compiler 
slowed to a snail's pace far sooner than 
did Logitech's or Stony Brook's. On the 
other hand, only JPI's Storage module 
can detect attempts to free the same piece 
of memory twice, and this is a very valu- 
able feature. 

In an OS/2 system properly config- 
ured with MEMMAN = SWAP,MOVE 
and with sufficient disk space, a call to 
ALLOCATE or NEW should never fail. 
That's fortunate, because both JPI's and 
Logitech's manuals say that if an alloca- 
tion does fail, the calling program will 
unceremoniously terminate. Stony Brook 
takes a more reasonable approach: its 
system raises a run-time error that you 
can field with an error handler. 

The three compilers implement mem- 
ory models in different ways. Stony 
Brook provides the same assortment that 
most C compilers offer. JPI defaults to a 
large model, but you can use the $N di- 
rective to get the compiler to use near 
pointers for intersegment function calls. 
That's awkward, though; you have to 
issue the directive from a comment with- 
in the code. I like Logitech's scheme the 
best: all code pointers are near unless the 
procedure is imported from another 
module, assigned to a procedure vari- 
able, or used as the body of a process. 
There's no option to change that be- 
havior, but it's unlikely that you would 
want to. 

Errors, Exceptions, and Debugging 

Modula-2's run-time error checking 
nicely complements OS/2 protected 
mode. Protected mode can catch bugs 
that make software development a night- 
mare—like writing to the wrong seg- 
ment. But it can't catch all errors. For 
example, you could overrun the bounds 
of an array without stepping into a for- 
bidden segment. 

All compilers can add checks for run- 
time errors, such as out-of-range array 
indexes, stack overflow, or dereferenc- 
ing the NIL pointer. Stony Brook pro- 
duces the best run-time error messages; 
the compiler reports the module name 
and the line at which the error occurred. 
Logitech reports only the nature of the 
problem (e.g., "Range Error"), not its 
location. JPI's integrated environment 
cites the module and line number of a 
run-time error. But if you run an errone- 
ous program as a stand-alone, it reports 

only that there was a run-time error; 
there's no indication of which one or 
where. Stony Brook provides the support 
that you need to recover from run-time 
errors. Its Error module doesn't have 
full-blown exception handling a la Ada, 
but it does maintain a stack of user-in- 
stallable error-handling procedures. 
Logitech's RTSExcep module does pro- 
vide some error-handling but doesn't 
permit a program to field an error and 
keep going. JPI does a particularly good 

job of checking for OS/2 errors within 
the standard library. 

JPI's wonderful Visual Interactive 
Debugger is not yet available for OS/2, 
so I had to fall back on CodeView when 
debugging programs built with the JPI 
compiler. Stony Brook's source-level de- 
bugger is fully integrated into the com- 
piler/editor environment, works with the 
mouse, and features watchpoints, break- 
points, and a backtrace facility. I tried a 


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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 173 


Table 1: Times for a VM2 prime-number generator, running on a virtual 
machine implemented in three versions of Modula-2. In all cases, background 
operation is far more efficient. All times are in seconds. 


Stony Brook 




939 2 8663 
5032 4363 

939 2 870 4 
507 2 440 4 

'Default memory model, which automatically uses near pointers whenever possible, 

2 Large model. 

3 Medium mode!. 

4 Near pointers ($N) enabled. 

beta version of Logitech's MultiScope 
debugger but, unfortunately, couldn't 
get it to run on my 2-megabyte system. 
Logitech is, however, the only one of the 
three companies with an approach to de- 
bugging multithreaded applications, and 
I expect the final version of MultiScope 
will be impressive. 

Environmental Issues 

All three compilers support both a 
command-line interface and a full- 
screen windowed environment. Logi- 
tech, of course, supports a mouse, as 
does Stony Brook; JPI, which has the en- 
vironment I otherwise find most intu- 
itive, does not. Stony Brook and JPI use 
proprietary schemes for structuring a 
development project and naming the 
paths to the various components of a proj- 
ect; I found these schemes a bit discon- 
certing. I prefer to use the OS/2 PATH 
for this purpose, as the Logitech com- 
piler does. 

Version control is an integral part of 
Modula-2. Compilers must not only 
check that all imported procedures are 
used in accordance with the definition 
module; they must also ensure that a 
program uses the right version of an 
implementation module. You can't sim- 
ply compile .DEF files into .SYM files, 
then .MOD files into .OBJ files, and 
then link. The order in which you com- 
pile the .DEF files matters. A Modula-2 
compiler must compile .DEF files in the 
right order, or at least tell you what that 
order is. 

Stony Brook's compiler automatically 
compiles .DEF files in the right order. 
Logitech's M2MAKE utility determines 
file dependencies and then creates a .CMD 
(OS/2 batch) file that drives the com- 
pilation. JPI dispenses with .SYM files 
entirely; the JPI compiler always recom- 
piles .DEF files. Fortunately, it is fast 
enough so that you don't really notice— 
except when you're crunching through 
those huge PM definition modules. 

The source code for the standard li- 

braries contains some of the best docu- 
mentation for these products. All three 
companies give you that source code. 
The printed documentation varies in 
quality. Logitech's documentation most- 
ly contains printouts of .DEF files. 
There's little in the way of useful de- 
scription or examples, and the OS/2-spe- 
cific information is poorly organized. 
Stony Brook does slightly better. There's 
an example for each library module and a 
separate— though barely adequate— sec- 
tion on OS/2. JPI does the best job on 
documentation. There's an example of 
each library routine, an excellent in- 
troduction to the OS/2 specifics of the 
product, and a first-class Modula-2 

VM2 Revisited 

To exercise the compilers, I used Jona- 
than Amsterdam's VM2— a compiler, 
assembler, and virtual machine, all writ- 
ten in Modula-2. See the articles "An 
Assembler for VM2" (November 1985 
BYTE) and "Building a Computer in 
Software" (October 1985 BYTE). The 
port to JPI's compiler was the most time- 
consuming of the three, despite the speed 
of JPI's excellent environment. That's 
because it's a one-pass compiler and 
doesn't allow forward references. You 
either have to move procedures around so 
they're declared before they're used or, 
alternatively, use JPI's Forward key- 

The compilers differ in how they track 
the various editions of Niklaus Wirth's 
Programming in Modula-2. Both Stony 
Brook and Logitech accept an Export 
statement in a .DEF file, while JPI fol- 
lows the practice set forth in the third 
edition and regards the .DEF file itself as 
an export list. 

Both JPI and Stony Brook allow this 

VARs : ARRAY [1..5] OF CHAR; 


s := "Hello": 

whereas Logitech, following the fourth 
edition, correctly regards this as a type 
incompatibility, because the assignment 
of a string with length five to an array of 
five characters does not leave room for 
the terminating null character. Since so 
many of OS/2's API routines expect 
ASCIIZ strings, it's important that they 
actually be zero-delimited. 

I compiled the VM2 programs using 
each of the compilers and then wrote a 
prime number generator in the VM2 
high-level language, compiled it to VM2 
assembly language (with the VM2 com- 
piler), and assembled it to create VM2 
object code (using the VM2 assembler). 

I ran that code on Logitech, JPI, and 
Stony Brook versions of Jonathan Am- 
sterdam's virtual machine (the results 
are shown in table 1). Even though Stony 
Brook (using the medium-memory mod- 
el) had the best times, the differences 
among the compilers are small. With 
each of the compilers, the VM2 primes 
program ran much faster in the back- 

Soul Mates 

OS/2 and Modula-2 are, in many ways, 
well matched. Each of these compilers is 
a genuine OS/2 product, not just a port of 
a DOS product. Logitech earns points 
for PM support, a DLL run-time library, 
an intelligent default memory model, 
and a multithreaded debugger. 

Stony Brook offers a useful debugger, 
a stand-alone graphics module, a Pro- 
cesses module, a run-time error-recov- 
ery mechanism, and a solution to the 
problem of reentrancy in the standard 

JPI, like Stony Brook, has a stand- 
alone graphics module and a Processes 
module, and like Logitech provides a 
DLL run-time library and PM support. 
The JPI product also has what I found to 
be the most intuitive interface and— a 
crucial point for OS/2 development— 
exceptionally good support for building 

Logitech's Modula-2 compiler for 
DOS is an industry standard— that is, 
more third-party Modula-2 libraries 
exist for Logitech's implementation than 
for JPI's or Stony Brook's. On balance, 
nevertheless, I believe that the Stony 
Brook and JPI products best exploit the 
multitasking and dynamic linking 
capabilities of OS/2. But stay tuned- 
each of these products is evolving 
rapidly. ■ 

Andrew Schulman is a software engineer 
working in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
He can be reached on BIXc/o "editors. " 

174 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 




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Circle 234 on Reader Service Card 

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Application Review 


A New World 
for DOS 

View Link and Magellan 
explore uncharted waters 
in man/machine 

Stan Miastkowski 

Over the past few months, sev- 
eral new products have tried 
to go beyond the capabilities 
of standard DOS shells such 
as the Norton Commander and Executive 
Systems' XTree. Although they're diffi- 
cult to place into rigid software catego- 
ries, you might think of them as intelli- 
gent DOS shells. Developed using 
object-oriented programming technol- 
ogy, they give you a radically different 
means of interacting with your system. 

In a way, Traveling Software's View- 
Link 1 .05 and Lotus Development's Ma- 
gellan 1.0 are new categories of soft- 
ware. Both packages incorporate some of 
the features of DOS shells, indexers, out- 
liners, and even HyperCard. But taken as 
a whole, their multiple levels of function- 
ality add up to more than the sum of those 

At first glance, these packages appear 
to be similar— and, to a point, they are. 
Both let you organize your data by func- 
tion and context, no matter where it's 
located on your disk. But although their 
on-screen displays look similar, they 
take very different approaches to man/ 
machine interaction. 

The ViewLink Connection 

A common thread in Traveling Software 
products has been the concept of linking; 
LapLink links computers, and ViewLink 
links together your data and applications 

Uieus = 






| HET1J0 










|j Hems 
IP Items 


build by Content 

I build by item dflte(s) | 
build by item tYpe | 
build by Formula 

'Build by content 
Uiew to build: UL-CAMER 
Text: carter 
Add or replace items: ADD 

21678 Dec 06 14:10:64 1986 

1282 Jan 01 02:36:38 1980 

74667 Nov 27 12:41:34 1986 

19 Uiews 

4 Ite»s tagged 


for help) UieuLink version LjjjjE Copyright 1989 Traveling Software, Inc. 

Photo 1: ViewLink lets you create "views " of files that all contain a specific search 
word or phrase. 

using a concept called views— logical cat- 
egories of related data. In fact, Traveling 
Software calls ViewLink an "associative 
access manager," because it lets you 
group related (associated) data into views 
based on your work preferences instead 
of the constraints of DOS subdirectories. 

To get an idea of how views work, say 
you're a manager who's responsible for a 
specific product. You're likely to have 
many different files on your PC that are 
directly related to your responsibilities. 
There might be spreadsheet files with 
budget projections, scheduling files for 
project management software, and nu- 
merous letters, memos, and E-mail mes- 
sages. ViewLink lets you link all these 
files together into one view where 
they're easily accessible. 

You can also link individual items to 
any number of different views. For ex- 

ample, you might have a view that con- 
tains only items that relate to the prod- 
uct's financial planning, or a view that 
includes only items that relate to a spe- 
cific member of the project team. In ad- 
dition, a view can be linked to other 
views. Beyond that, you can have differ- 
ent sets of views, called domains. This is 
particularly effective in LAN installa- 
tions, where each individual user can 
have his or her own domains, as well as 
share common domains with the work- 

When you start ViewLink, you see a 
split screen with views on the left and 
files associated with the views on the 
right. Initially, the views are primarily 
subdirectory names. Because the data 
files that you incorporate into a view are 
automatically linked to their associated 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 177 




Traveling Software, Inc. 
18702 North Creek Blvd. 
Bothell.WA 98011 
(206) 483-8088 


One 5 1 /4-inch floppy disk or 
one 3 1 /2-inch floppy disk 

Hardware Needed 

IBM PC or compatible with 384K bytes 
of RAM and a hard disk drive 

Software Needed 

DOS 2.0 or higher 


User's manual; overview guide; 
applications guide 



Inquiry 885. 

applications, ViewLink takes care of the 
actual launching of applications. 

Multilevel Installation 

Getting the most out of ViewLink re- 
quires a sizable time investment. Besides 
an initially steep learning curve, the very 
nature of the program means the installa- 
tion is time-consuming. There are really 
two levels to setting up ViewLink: the 
automatic initial installation and the 
fine-tuning process that customizes it to 
your particular preferences. 

The first-level installation is actually 
quite simple. ViewLink's functionality 
is tightly coupled to specific applica- 
tions. The installation utility lists some 
60 of the most popular application pro- 
grams, including all major categories. 
You tell ViewLink which applications 
you'll be using, and it goes through a 
multiple-step process. First it finds the 
specified applications and their related 
files, and then it links them to specific 
macros that ViewLink requires. 

After it has found the applications that 
you'll be using, ViewLink then searches 
your entire hard disk for files that ob- 
viously work with them. For example, it 
links .WK1 files to Lotus 1-2-3, .DOC 
files to Microsoft Word, and .CMD files 
to Procomm. If you've used nonstandard 

Magellan 1.0 


Lotus Development Corp. 
55 Cambridge Pkwy. 
Cambridge, MA 021 42 


Three 5 1 /4-inch floppy disks or 
two 3 1 /2-inch floppy disks 

Hardware Needed 

IBM PC or compatible with 512K bytes 
of RAM, one floppy disk drive, and a.hard 
disk drive with approximately 720K 
bytes of free disk space for the program 
plus 5 percent to 10 percent of free disk 
spaceforthe index 

Software Needed 

DOS 2.1 or higher 


User's manual; quick start-up guide; 
suggested user's guide 



Inquiry 886. 

f ilenaming conventions, it may link files 
to the wrong applications, but you can 
easily unlink those later. 

The end result of the initial installa- 
tion is a master link file that keeps track 
of views and links. ViewLink's link file 
is extremely small: My initial link file 
for 48.6 megabytes of applications and 
data took up just 130K bytes of disk 
space, and it grew very little as I custom- 
ized my own views. 

The second part of the installation is 
considerably more time-consuming and 
involves the actual creation of individu- 
ally tailored views. ViewLink gives you 
several options for building views, in- 
cluding filenames, dates, and types. You 
can even enter complex Boolean formu- 
las to tell ViewLink what to include and 
exclude in a view. And when all else 
fails, you can physically move through 
the filenames on your disks, tagging the 
ones you want as you go along. 

But ViewLink's most powerful fea- 
ture is the ability to build views by con- 
tent. For example, you can enter text 
strings, and the program will search for 
them. Every time it finds a match, it in- 
cludes the file in the view (see photo 1 ) . 

Once you've generated your own per- 
sonal views, each of the individual items 
is linked to the specific application under 

which it runs. For example, you can 
point to a spreadsheet file and press Re- 
turn, and the file link automatically 
launches the application, bringing up the 
spreadsheet on the screen with the de- 
sired file already loaded. Likewise, 
pointing to a text file launches a word 
processing application. There's also a 
cut-and-paste feature that lets you move 
data between applications. 

To run under ViewLink control, spe- 
cific applications must be installed and 
closely tied to ViewLink via macros. For 
each application installed, there are up to 
four standard application macros (exe- 
cute, run, print, and create) and two key 
macros. ViewLink automatically in- 
vokes the application macros, and you 
use the two key macros to save your work 
and quit the application. 

If the applications you use most often 
are not in the program's install list, 
you'll need to write a specific application 
macro for it. Traveling Software pro- 
vides detailed information for macro cre- 
ation, but you'll need a modicum of pro- 
gramming skill. 

Keeping the Faith 

Once you've installed and set up View- 
Link to your individual preferences, it 
requires a continuing commitment. An- 
other powerful feature of ViewLink is its 
ability to automatically incorporate new 
items into a view without your having to 
specifically add them each time you 
create a file. With "automatic view up- 
date" on, each time you generate a data 
file that contains any of the search crite- 
ria you used in generating the original 
view, ViewLink automatically updates 
the view to include the new item. And the 
process is very fast, usually taking not 
more than 3 to 5 seconds. 

Traveling Software says an OS/2 ver- 
sion of ViewLink that runs under Presen- 
tation Manager will be available by the 
end of the year. ViewLink 1.05, which is 
now shipping, lacks mouse support and 
the ability to use expanded memory. A 
Traveling Software spokesperson says 
these features will be included in version 
1.1, which should become available at 
about the time you read this. 

Exploring with Magellan 

Instead of ViewLink's approach of asso- 
ciating files into categories (views) that 
you customize to your personal prefer- 
ences, Magellan takes an inherently dif- 
ferent approach to dealing with data. It 
treats your hard disk (or even multiple 
disks) as a whole. During Magellan's ini- 
tial installation, it creates an index of all 


178 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 




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And our CADD programs 
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98011. Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Com- 
puter Inc. 


Circle 102 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 103) 


Lotus Magellan 

MHO. 2 

Edit Entry and Press Enter 



Jimmy (James Earl 

Explore = 

39th president, Democ rat, was the 
uas born 

fill Files 

Current Explore Path 
Lotus 1-2-3 files 
Symphony files 
Manuscript files 
Lotus Express Files" 
Agenda files 
i Practice files 

Enter te 



I of 38 

Text: [carter ft peanut J 

Marked text 


nd gradud 

line progr 

Union C 

take ove 
iior, 1966 
ated Pres 


_^^______ [ttacked t 

in Teheran and held Heeabers of the embassy staff hostage. Du 
was widely criticized for the poor state of the econooy and 
He was alo viewed as weak in his handling of foreign policy 

Photo 2: Magellan 's search ability is fast and uses fuzzy logic to evaluate the success 
of a search. 

the data on your hard disk. Like View- 
Link, Magellan uses a proprietary tech- 
nology. It creates a surprisingly compact 
index. Lotus says that it normally takes 
up 5 percent to 10 percent of the data 
space, and my 48.6 megabytes of appli- 
cations and data resulted in an index of 
about 2.5 megabytes. 

Magellan also does lots of the initial 
work for you. Although the program 
took about an hour to index my disk, I 
could start using it almost immediately 
once the indexing process was complete. 

Magellan's forte is viewing (not to be 
confused with ViewLink's views). On 
the left side of the screen is an alphabeti- 
cal list of all the files on your hard disk. 
It can be daunting— in my case, there 
were 2087 files. But there are many ways 
of narrowing the list to a more manage- 
able length, including a clever "incre- 
mental find" feature that instantly finds 
filenames as you press the letter keys. 

As you scroll down the list, you can 
see the contents of each file on the right 
side of the screen. Magellan has over 16 
customized view utilities that present 
data in the format that you'd see in the 
associated application file. A .WK1 




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180 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


1-2-3 spreadsheet file looks like the 
spreadsheet, a dBASE file is formatted 
correctly, and so on. It's all done auto- 
matically, because, in the index process, 
Magellan (like ViewLink) associates the 
data files with applications. But what's 
even more amazing is that Magellan lets 
you peek into binary files, and it in- 
stantly shows you certain packed files 
(.ARC) in their unpacked state. 

Like ViewLink, Magellan lets you 
point to a file and start it up in its applica- 
tion. You do it with a Launch function 
key. But unlike with ViewLink, the pro- 
cess isn't completely automatic. When 
you press the Launch key, Magellan asks 
you which application you want to start 
and presents a list of choices. It points to 
the most obvious application (e.g., Lotus 
1-2-3 for a .WK1 file). Although this 
extra keystroke may sound inconvenient, 
it makes a lot of sense. I use two different 
editors— XyWrite and Norton Editor— 
for different applications, and the ability 
to quickly choose either one is handy in- 
deed. ViewLink, on the other hand, al- 
ways assumed I wanted to use XyWrite. 

Although it's not exactly a new con- 
cept, one of Magellan's handiest features 

is that it displays the main function-key 
commands across the bottom of the 
screen. This is one of the reasons that 
Magellan is more immediately useful 
than ViewLink. When you press and hold 
the Alt key, the menu changes to 10 new 
function-key commands. Many of the 
commands are your standard DOS shell 
options, such as Copy, Delete, and Sort. 
But there are also some intriguing new 
ones, such as Gather and Zoom. The 
Gather function lets you mark text from 
any application shown in a view window 
and exports it into an ASCII file. Zoom 
expands the filename or the file view. 

The Warm Fuzzies 

If Magellan just gave you a huge list of 
files and the ability to quickly peek into 
them, it would be useful enough. But 
where Magellan's real power starts to 
show is in its ability to do fuzzy searches 
of all the files on your hard disk. Al- 
though Magellan can quickly find spe- 
cific words or phrases anywhere on your 
hard disk, that's a feature shared by sev- 
eral indexing programs. Magellan's Ex- 
plore function extends this ability by let- 
ting you use common English words or 

phrases. This feature uses AI techniques 
that Lotus first included in its HAL natu- 
ral-language interface to 1-2-3. 

For example, you can tell Magellan to 
explore all files concerning 'Telephone 
Installation Corporation." Magellan 
searches for close matches to the words 
"Telephone," "Installation," and "Cor- 
poration," and flags a match if it finds 
the words within a short distance of each 
other. Magellan then shows you a list of 
the files where it found a fuzzy match, 
followed by a percentage. This explore 
rank shows you the number of exact 
matches (ranging from 75 percent to 100 
percent) and the number of fuzzy match- 
es (ranging from percent to 74 percent) 
(see photo 2). You can then browse 
through the matched files, with the 
words or phrases that you searched for 

Although dealing with fuzzy search- 
ing is initially a bit confusing, it doesn't 
take long to see what a powerful concept 
it is. It's most helpful when you're look- 
ing for a concept and don't remember the 
exact wording that you used in the origi- 
nal file. Most of Magellan's searches 


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SpeedStor, LANStor, LaserStor and MacinStor 

are trademarks of Storage Dimensions. 

Circle 239 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 240) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 181 

e easy 
ways to boost 

your BASIC 


Basic Programming 
'AStm Library 

So who cares that BYTE magazine calls 
ProBas a "Supercharger for QuickBASIC" or 
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gramming would do well to get [ProBas]"? And 
who cares that Wayne Hammerly calls ProBas 
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• A 1 ,000-page two-volume manual 

• Full mouse support 

• Extended and EMS memory support 

• Full-featured windowing 

• Moveable, resizable windows 

• Screen snapshots (text & graphics) 

• Virtual screens in memory 

• Lightning-fast file I/O 

• Critical error handling 

• String, array, and pointer sorts 

• Search directories and archives 

Create dazzling screens in text, CGA, EGA, 
VGA, and Hercules graphics modes with win- 
dows that can overlay one another and be 
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ProRef provides on-line help for the routines 
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Circle 107 on Reader Service Card 


The ToolKit is a collection of high-level BASIC 
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Circle 108 on Reader Service Card 

finished in 3 to 5 seconds on my system, 
and even complex fuzzy searches seldom 
took more than 10 to 15 seconds. 

Staying Up-to-Date 

Keeping Magellan's index up-to-date is 
essential to use the program's fuzzy 
search feature to best advantage. Al- 
though Magellan doesn't automatically 
update its master index, it does tell you 
that you need to do the update by putting 
an "Update" message in the upper-right 
corner of the screen. The reason that Ma- 
gellan doesn't automatically update is 
that the process can be time-consuming, 
especially if you've created many files in 
a marathon work session. By pressing 
Alt-F5, you bring up an index box, and to 
update the index, you press the U key. 
Magellan tells you how many files need 
to be indexed and also estimates how 
long the process will take. I created 80 
new files in two days of work, and it took 
Magellan about 5 minutes to update the 

One nice feature that's missing from 
Magellan is a way for the program to 
automatically update its index at a cer- 
tain time. It would be nice if Magellan 
would know to update its index at 3:00 
a.m. everyday. 

Customizing with Macros 

While Magellan is useful as well as easy 
to use right out of the box, it, like View- 
Link, has layers and layers of features 
that increase its functionality. Taking 
advantage of them requires some time 
and study. But more important, getting 
the most out of Magellan requires that 
you learn and use the program's macro 
facility. It's really the only way to cus- 
tomize Magellan to your preferences. 

Magellan's macros are straightfor- 
ward. There's a standard learn mode that 
records your keystrokes into a macro. 
You can have up to 50 macros, with up to 
255 characters in each. And, as with any 
good macro language, you can chain 
macros together so that they call each 
other when you need to do a particularly 
complicated job. 

Magellan macros can be powerful. 
For instance, it's relatively easy to use a 
few keystrokes to write a start-up macro 
that brings your favorite applications or 
file areas to the top of Magellan's view 
window. This saves about two dozen key- 
strokes. Although macros are easy to 
write, getting the most out of them re- 
quires that you be familiar with Magel- 
lan's myriad features. It would have been 
nice if Lotus had supplied a selection of 
sample macros for common Magellan 
use. But there are none, although the 

Idea Book that comes with Magellan 
does at least give a few suggestions for 
macro starting points. 

Making a Choice 

For those who are well-entrenched in 
dealing with the comfortable old C> 
prompt, getting used to programs like 
ViewLink and Magellan can be a real 
challenge. After years of working the 
way systems forced you to, having the 
ability to deal with files and data in a 
much more natural way is initially in- 
timidating. Both of these programs are 
essentially textual equivalents to the 
Macintosh Desktop and HyperCard, but 
they also go beyond simple analogies. 
And they show that even in this age of 
graphical user interfaces, a text-only ap- 
proach can still be effective. 

Both programs use RAM-resident 
core modules. ViewLink's takes up 42K 
bytes, while Magellan's uses a sparse 
5.5K bytes. So neither package works 
with Microsoft Windows, but both worked 
fine with Quarterdeck's DESQview. 

Despite their similarities, the pro- 
grams take divergent approaches. If you 
want to get up and running quickly, Ma- 
gellan is your best bet. And with its 
fuzzy search abilities, it shines at snoop- 
ing around your hard disk, quickly find- 
ing related information. 

On the other hand, if you're willing to 
deal with ViewLink's steep learning 
curve, developing personalized views of 
your data is much closer to a truly symbi- 
otic man/machine interface. But to get 
the most out of ViewLink, you'll need to 
learn new concepts and change your 
mental paradigm of computerized data. 

One problem that ViewLink and Ma- 
gellan share is that both are multilayered 
products with multitudes of features. 
Realistically, you should plan on spend- 
ing a sizable amount of time cloistered 
with the documentation. It's the only way 
to get full power out of either program. 

In a computer market that's overflow- 
ing with "me-too" products, ViewLink 
and Magellan are unique. Currently, 
there's nothing else like them on the 
market, although that's likely to change 
quickly. Too many DOS-shell products 
have claimed to let you use your PC "the 
way people think." But ViewLink and 
Magellan are the first to make serious 
advances in fulfilling that promise. ■ 

Stan Miastkowski is a BYTE consulting 
editor, managing director of K+S Con- 
cepts (a documentation and consulting 
firm) and editor of the "OS Report" 
newsletter. He can be reached on BIX as 
lt stanm. " 

Unleash the 
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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 183 


J I 


Now you can have the best of both 
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graphics display, thanks to Truevision's 
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Truevision's HR card is QuickDraw™ 
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*A11graphicscards with more than 1 M Byte of memory require 32-bit QuickDraw. QuickDraw is a trademark and Apple. Macintosh and Mac are registered trademarks ot Apple Computer, Inc. SONY is 
a registered trademark of Sony Corporation of America. Image courtesy of Electric Image. © 1989, Truevision Inc. 








Special Supplemen 


Mac System 7.0 


Spectrum/24 • Showcase F/X 


List Manager Techniques 


How to 
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Introducing MacRAF. 

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MacRAF and RAF are trademarks of Datability 
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IBM and Macintosh are respective trademarks of 
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Circle 465 on Reader Service Card 


Macintosh Special Supplement 

Short Takes 

The Next-Generation Mac Operating System 

List Manager Techniques 

HyperTalk Program Design 



System 7.0 and 
the Macintosh Ilex 

Apple's plans 
for the future 
of computing 

During 1989, Apple gave us a 
glimpse of its plans for the fu- 
ture of personal computing. 
With the introduction of the 
Macintosh Ilex in March and the an- 
nouncement of the next-generation oper- 
ating system, System 7.0, at the May De- 
veloper's Conference, Apple has staked 
its claim to the future of innovative per- 
sonal computing. While neither the Mac 
Ilex nor System 7.0 is a product break- 
through, both do indicate the direction 
that Apple will take during the 1990s. 
Why are the Mac Ilex and System 7.0 so 

The Mac Ilex is not important because 
of what it's made of. Plenty of vendors 
sell machines with processors at least as 
fast as the Ilex's 16-MHz 68030. Plenty 
of vendors sell machines with an indus- 
try-standard bus architecture for ex- 
pandability. And plenty of vendors sell 
machines with high-resolution graphics 
capabilities. No, the hardware is not the 
exciting part of the Mac Ilex. The real 

excitement is how the Mac Ilex is made. 
It is the first Mac design to really take 
modular construction— or design for 
manufacturing (DFM)— to heart. 

DFM is the wave of the present in per- 
sonal computer manufacturing. DFM 
dictates that a computer's hardware be 
designed with ease of assembly and dis- 
assembly in mind. This results in a ma- 
chine that's cheaper to make and cheaper 
to fix when it breaks. 

In the area of software, the excitement 
is System 7.0. Although it won't be avail- 
able until 1990, the May announcements 
promise that System 7.0 will include 
most of the modern operating-system 
features that we'll all need to handle in- 
formation in the new decade. Things like 
outline fonts, interapplication communi- 
cation, virtual memory, an improved 
Finder interface, and printing enhance- 
ments are all important, but the crucial 
part of System 7.0 is what it lacks. 

What's missing is backward incom- 
patibility. You can run System 7.0 on any 
Mac, from the Mac Plus to the Mac Ilex, 
as long as you have 2 megabytes of RAM. 
Ever tried to run OS/2 on an old PC or 
XT? It won't work, no matter how much 
memory you have. There's no backward 
compatibility for OS/2 on IBM's older 
PCs because the 8088 processor lacks 

the horsepower, and so OS/2 was written 
for a later-generation Intel processor, the 
80286. A Mac Plus or Mac SE, however, 
even with their dated and overworked 
68000 processors, will run System 7.0. 
They'll take advantage of all System 
7.0 's new features, with the exception of 
virtual memory. This is no easy trick, 
and it points to Apple's commitment to 
its installed base of Macs. 

Apple has the unique opportunity to 
really broadcast its vision of computing 
during the 1990s by expanding both of 
these hardware and software concepts. It 
can do this by taking DFM and building 
an inexpensive Macintosh (under $750 
list) that runs System 7.0. This Mac, 
which I call the Macintosh Classic (as 
opposed to the "classic Macintosh," 
which started with the Mac 128K and 
exists now as the Mac Plus), would offer 
Apple's vision to many people. It would 
accomplish this because many people- 
not just large corporations— could afford 
such a machine, and it would replace the 
aging Apple lis that fill our schools, 
small businesses, and homes. Let's hope 
that Apple doesn't waste this important 

—Don Crabb 

Contributing Editor 

(BIX name "decrabb") 

AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 187 

It syncs to 

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AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 189 

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BYTE editors' hands-on views of new products 


Showcase F/X 

MaxPage 1 .2 

True Colors, 

A year ago, I evaluated Su- 
perMac Technology's 
Spectrum/24, a NuBu s video 
boardthat could display 24-bit 
color pixels. At the time, 
Color QuickDraw didn't pro- 
vide any large-pixel support: 
It only worked with color 
pixels 8 bits in size. SuperMac 
cleverly used a chunky/planar 
mode that was defined— but 
unsupported— by Apple to 
work around this limit. Draw- 
ing operations were somewhat 
slow and made for some inter- 
esting screen effects as the pri- 
mary colors rippled into the 
frame buffer, but it worked. 
Nor could you argue with the 
photographic quality of the re- 
sults. Since the Spectrum/24 
used an unsupported graphics 
mode to function, SuperMac 
Technology sold the board 
only to developers. 

Apple's 32-Bit QuickDraw 
changes all that: Now Macs 
that support color have the ca- 
pability of displaying, ma- 
nipulating, and printing full- 
chunky pixel images that are 
16 or 32 bits deep. It seemed 
appropriate to check back on 
the Spectrum/24 video board 
to see if it had changed with the 

The Spectrum/24 most cer- 
tainly has changed. Although 
it still sports the same name 
and features, the board's elec- 
tronics have been completely 



SuperMac Technology 

$3999; with NuBus 

485 Potrero Ave. 

board trade-in: $2499 

Sunnyvale, C A 94086 


Requirements: Mac II 

Inquiry 471. 

with 2 megabytes of 

RAM, a color monitor, 

and a hard disk drive, 

and running System 


with 32-Bit QuickDraw 


redesigned to fully conform to 
32-Bit QuickDraw's full- 
chunky pixel format. 

One feature that the new 
Spectrum/24 inherited from 
its predecessor is support for 
both SuperMac's 16- and 19- 
inch monitors (displaying 
1024 by 768 pixels) and 
Apple's 12- and 13-inch moni- 
tors (displaying 640 by 480 
pixels). Another inherited 
feature i s screen depths o f 1 , 2 , 
4, 8, and 32 bits (of which 24 
bits actually hold color 

At ''shallower" screen 
depths (4 bits or less), the un- 
used portions of the Spec- 
trum/24's frame buffer are 
used to either expand the di- 
mensions of the Mac screen (in 
what SuperMac calls a "vir- 
tual desktop") or to provide a 
2 x -zoom magnification fea- 

ture on part of the screen. A 
built-in hardware pan function 
scrolls this enlarged screen 
automatically as the mouse 
pointer reaches the edge of the 

I used the Spectrum/24 on a 
Mac II equipped with 2 mega- 
bytes of RAM and a 40-mega- 
byte hard disk drive, and on a 
Mac Ilex with 4 megabytes of 
RAM and an 80-megabyte 
hard disk drive. For both sys- 
tems, the video board drove a 
SuperMac 19-inch Trinitron 
monitor. Installation was as 
simple as plugging in the 
board and rebooting. 

The Spectrum/24 worked 
fine with the alpha version of 
32-Bit QuickDraw that I was 
using, and it switched through 
all screen depths without a 
hitch. The 24-bit-deep images 
that I had captured with a 

Howtek Scanmaster color 
scanner closely resembled the 
original photos. Screen per- 
formance at 32-bit screen 
depths was slower than at 8 
bits, but not prohibitively so, 
as it was with the chunky/ 
planar boards. 

The Spectrum/24 helps 
provide the hardware portion 
of Apple's 32-bit imaging 
solution, and it definitely 
brings WYSIWYG to high- 
end color prepress applica- 
tions. It and 32-Bit Quick- 
Draw work synergistically to 
provide crisp screen updates 
without any of the color after- 
images that plagued chunky/ 
planar hardware implementa- 
tions, and they do it with very 
snappy throughput. I'm look- 
ing forward to seeing what 
other interesting applications 
develop now that the Spec- 
trum/24 makes this type of 
display technology available. 

The Spectrum/24 costs 
$3999. For a limited time, you 
can upgrade to a Spectrum/24 
for $2499 by trading in your 
existing NuBus video board (it 
can be a SuperMac, Raster- 
Ops, or Macintosh II video 
board) to SuperMac. □ 

—Tom Thompson 

Special F/X 
on the Mac 

Did you ever see the movie 
Clash of the Titansl De- 
spite a stellar cast, it was a 
clunker of a film that was re- 
deemed only by Ray Harry- 
hausen's special effects. I kept 
thinking of that movie while 
working with Aegis Develop- 
ment's Showcase F/X, a pro- 
gram for creating and animat- 
ing text for use in desktop 
presentations and videos. This 
multifeatured Macintosh 
package won't make you the 


AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 191 


Harryhausen of computer- 
based presentations, butit will 
give you some easy-to-use 
tools for spiffing up your slide 
show, videotape, or product 

Showcase F/X (the name, 
which comes from the cine- 
ma's abbreviation for special 
effects, signifies the pro- 
gram's film heritage) is strict- 
ly for working with text. It has 
animation capabilities, but 
you can use them only with al- 
phanumerics; this is not a 
package for drawing cartoons . 
For an idea of what you can do 
with this program, think of 
opening credits you've seen at 
the movies, in which the titles 
flash across the screen or 
come at you from the back- 
ground or glow like neon. 

The program gives you a 
blank drawing board on which 
you type the text you want, 
using either the Mac's fonts or 
what Aegis calls Poly fonts, 
unique object-based charac- 
ters that you can manipulate 
(e.g., stretch, shrink, flip, 
mirror, and distort) by pulling 
on the handles that surround 
the chunk of text. Showcase 
F/X has several effects you 
can apply to the text; f orexam- 
ple, you can add shadows, a 
three-dimensional look, a 
neon-like glow, smears, or 
colors (16 or 256, depending 
on your system) . 

Animating the text is rela- 
tively easy, but it does require 
studying the manual a bit. 
(This isn't the sort of software 
you should just dive right 
into.) If you've worked at all 
with film animation, you'll 
find the program to be pretty 
intuitive; it essentially follows 
a metaphor of setting up 
frames and then linking them . 

You can do this frame by 
frame, or you can let the pro- 
gram do some of the work for 
you. Let's say you're putting 
together a 50-f rame script; 
you don't have to specify 
every frame— you can estab- 
lish frames 5, 10, 15, and so 
on, and the program will auto- 
matically handle the transi- 
tions between those frames. 

After you've established 
your script— the content and 


Showcase F/X 

Aegis Development 


2115 West Pico Blvd. 

Santa Monica, CA 



Mac II with a color or 


gray-scale monitor, at 

Inquiry 472. 

least 2 megabytes of 

RAM, a hard disk drive, 

System 6.0.2 or higher, 

and Finder 6 . 1 or higher; 

for use with videotape, 

you'll need a genlock 


sequence of frames— you can 
preview it to see how it'll look 
when animated. When you're 
ready to shoot your script, so 
to speak, you just click on a 
button, and Showcase F/X 
then records each frame. 

Showcase F/X will import 
images from programs that 
use the PICT file format, such 
as MacDraw and PixelPaint, 
but you can use these pictures 
only as backgrounds behind 
the titles. You can also scan in 
images for use as back- 

Now what can you do with 
all this fancy titling? Well, 
you can use it in a stand-alone 
presentation that runs on your 
Mac (or is projected onto a big 
screen), or, if you've got the 
appropriate genlock device, 
you can transfer the text to a 
videotape machine; I wasn't 

able to test this capability, but 
Aegis says Showcase F/X will 
work with genlocks from Ras- 
terOps, Mass Micro Systems, 
and Computer Friends. (You 
could also send output to a 
printer, but this seems a waste 
of the program ' s talents . ) 

Asa bonus, Aegis throws in 
its SlideShow program, which 
you can use to enhance your 
animated script. SlideShow 
lets you alter the playback 
speed of your animation, 
change transition colors, and 
loop a group of animation 

I worked with Showcase 
F/X on a Mac II with 4 mega- 
bytes of RAM; the company 
recommends at least 2 mega- 
bytes, and I'd say that's defi- 
nitely the bottom line. With a 
256-color board, some of the 
screens were downright daz- 

zling. If you're into visuals, 
you can find yourself spending 
a lot of time with this package, 
checking out its box of tricks. I 
did run into a few weird spots, 
however. While trying to 
record a 50-frame animation, 
I repeatedly got the message 
that "An I/O error has oc- 
curred." I also got a message 
I'd never seen before: "Can't 
understand lock." Lock? 
What lock? 

One warning: This pro- 
gram can be pretty slow. 
Screen drawing seemed a bit 
poky, and the recording pro- 
cess gives you ample time to go 
fetch a cup of coffee; in fact, it 
takes long enough that you can 
brew a new pot. 

Not everybody needs a pro- 
gram like this. But if you've 
got a presentation or demo to 
give and would rather have the 
audience looking at the screen 
than at you, Showcase F/X can 
help you out by providing the 
tools to create brilliant dis- 
plays. If you're a filmmaker 
looking to put effective titles 
on your videotape, doing it 
yourself using this program is 
considerably less expensive 
than hiring someone else to do 
it with traditional equipment. 
Showcase F/X is one more in- 
dication that personal com- 
puters, particularly the Mac- 
intosh, can meld beautifully 
with the visual arts. □ 

— D. Barker 

The $89 Page 

If you've been thinking 
about doing some desktop 
publishing with your Mac, 
MaxPage 1.2 may be a good 
program to get you going. The 
program costs only $89 and 
has most of the standard desk- 
top publishing features. 

Like most desktop publish- 
ing programs, MaxPage put 
me immediately into an unti- 
tled page. To start, I drew a 
text box by holding the mouse 
button down, dragging down 
and to the right to size it, and 
then letting go of the button. 
To work with multiple col- 
umns, I called up the full-page 

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grid, which, unfortunately, is 
divided into inches rather than 
picas, with subdivisions in 
one-quarter-inch rules. It also 
has horizontal and vertical 
half-page and third-page di- 
viding, lines. I learned to hide 
the grid before printing my 

After positioning columns, 
I started adding text. When I 
moved the cursor into a box, it 
changed into a text-editing I- 
beam. I simply pushed the 
mouse button down, and the 
text-insertion bar began blink- 
ing within the box. Once I se- 
lected a box, any menu com- 
mands affecting a box applied 
only to that particular box. 

I entered text by typing, but 
I could have imported any 
ASCII file as well. When you 
import text, it uses the box's 
right side as its right margin 
and automatically wraps 
around until all the text has 
been added. If the text length 
goes below the bottom of the 
importing box, it is stacked 
below the visible area. 

MaxPage also offers all the 
usual Macintosh editing fea- 
tures, such as select, cut, 
copy, and paste, as well as the 
typical selection of fonts on the 
Mac II. You can change the 
font inside a box at any time, 
the same way you do within 
any Mac document. One thing 
to remember is that if you 
change fonts for a particular 
box, the text in corresponding 
boxes will also appear in that 
font unless you change it. 

If you increase the width of a 
box, the text automatically ad- 
justs to fit inside the new box 
size. If your text goes beyond 
the last box on a page, you can 
wrap it into memory and then 
wrap it into a box on the next 

You can also import draw- 

ings or paintings from source 
files that are in PICT format or 
in PNTG, a MacPaint-style 
format. This lets you use Mac- 
Draw and MacPaint to create 
detailed graphics that you can 
import into your MaxPage 
documents. Each time that 
MaxPage redraws a graphic, it 
reimports it quickly. 

One feature that I found 
useful is MaxPage' s ability to 
automatically adjust the 
graphic inside the box to fit, 
no matter how many times you 
resize the box. The manual 
recommends that you make 
your original drawing fill an 
entire page in your graphics 
application before you import 
it into MaxPage. In that way, 
your drawing will completely 
fill the box that you import it 
into, giving you total control 
over its sizing. 

MaxPage also gives you pic- 
ture-adjustment facilities in 
the form of scroll bars imme- 
diately below and to the right 
of the picture. These scroll 
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tures from the center, equally 
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or right, and upward or down- 
ward. Again, if youchangethe 
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proportionally. An additional 
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if you change your mind, re- 
duce it again. 

You can also add a back- 
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Backgrounds can be full-page 
PICT files, but you cannot use 
PNTG files for this purpose. 

MaxPage is an easy-to-use 
page-layout program for the 
Macintosh that gives you 
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—Martha Hicks 


MaxPage 1.2 

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can set up an extensive Macintosh workgroup sys- 
tem through a feature called HayesConnect.™ 

HayesConnect™ allows any Mac access to the 
Smartmodem 2400M across an Applel^lk® Network. 

Which means all Macintosh computers on 
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or without a modem of their own. This makes 
for extremely efficient office communications. 




To make them even more efficient, the sys- 
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clicks on standard, easily iden- mm^^m. 
tifiable icons. 

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Circle 458 on Reader Service Card 


System 7.0: 

The Next-Generation Mac 
Operating System 

Tom Thompson 

In early May, Apple announced certain 
details about its much-rumored System 
7.0 operating system for the Macintosh. 
This served to eliminate much of the 
rampant speculation about its features 
and also revealed Apple's course for 
desktop computing in the 1990s. 

For starters, System 7.0 will correct a 
number of limitations with the existing 
Mac operating system: It will handle 
large hard disk drives with thousands of 
files; accurately display fonts on low-res- 
olution devices, such as impact or SCSI 
printers; provide support for color print- 
ing and third-party printing devices; and 
expand the address space out of its cur- 
rent 16-megabyte limit. At the same 
time, System 7.0 will supply many new 
features: virtual memory; a new Finder 
with a more consistent way to add fonts, 
desk accessories (DAs), sound resources, 
and Control Panel modules (cdevs); an 
enhanced file system that can handle 
MS-DOS or NFS volumes; communica- 
tions support (serial and networked); 
database support; and ways to establish 
live data links between running applica- 
tions. But there's still no preemptive 
scheduler or hardware memory protec- 
tion; it's still up to MultiFinder to pro- 
vide multitasking capabilities. Neverthe- 
less, System 7.0 promises a lot of OS/2' s 
features and will provide them across the 
entire Macintosh line, from the Mac Plus 
to the Mac Ilex. 

All you need to run System 7.0 on 
existing machines is a minimum of 2 
megabytes of RAM. An IBM PC system 
using OS/2 and Presentation Manager re- 
quires at least 3 megabytes of RAM and 
an 80286 processor. 

I must stress that much of the informa- 
tion Apple supplied is preliminary and 
subject to change. Also, I had no hands- 
on experience with even prototype soft- 
ware. With that in mind, I'll focus on a 
few of the more interesting parts of Sys- 
tem 7.0. I'll provide a more comprehen- 
sive report when the software becomes 

It offers many 
features competitive 

to OS/2 yet 

remains compatible 

with the existing 

software base 

The New Finder 

The new Finder lets you customize your 
system or add enhancements using a con- 
sistent interface. To add DAs, fonts, and 
sounds to the system, you simply copy 
the files into the appropriate folder. 

DAs and Control Panel files appear as 
icons on the Desktop, and you activate 
them by double-clicking on the icon— the 
same as launching a Mac application. At- 
tached printers appear as icons, and you 
can print a document by dragging it onto 
the printer icon. The new Finder also 
provides a built-in file search function, a 
help window, and file aliasing. 

A 32-bit Address Space 

The current Mac operating system is 
limited to a 24-bit address space 16 
megabytes i n size, of which only 8 mega- 
bytes is available to applications. This is 
the case even though the Mac II family 
and the Mac SE/30 use 68020 and 68030 
processors that can handle a 32-bit ad- 
dress space (4 gigabytes). This occurs 
because not all of the Mac operating sys- 
tem implements 32-bit addressing (two of 
the offenders here are the Memory Man- 
ager and QuickDraw)— a legacy from the 
68000 processor's 24-bit address bus. 
System 7.0 will eliminate the vestiges of 
the 24-bit addressing limit in the Macin- 

tosh operating system. 

Interestingly, QuickDraw's address- 
ing problems could be dealt with apart 
from the rest of the operating system and 
are fixed with the release of 32-Bit 
QuickDraw (see "Apple's 32-Bit Quick- 
Draw Covers the Spectrum," July 
BYTE). A Mac can use 32-Bit Quick- 
Draw's enhanced capabilities while run- 
ning in a 24-bit environment under Sys- 
tem 6.0.3. 

These modifications in System 7.0 
will further the migration of Mac soft- 
ware to a 32-bit environment. They will 
allow present and future Mac applica- 
tions to access larger amounts of RAM, 
in order to deal with the large computing 
jobs of the 1990s. 

Virtual Memory 

System 7.0 will implement virtual mem- 
ory; unused objects in RAM are written 
to a file on disk and read back into mem- 
ory when needed. Although there's a 
performance penalty because of this 
"swapping" overhead and because disk 
accesses are slower than RAM, virtual 
memory lets you work with objects larger 
than the computer's physical memory. 

System 7.0's virtual memory will use 
a demand-paging scheme using 4K-byte 
pages (one block of memory). In the 24- 
bit environment, you can configure vir- 
tual memory to a maximum of 14 mega- 
bytes. In the 32-bit environment, you'll 
be able to use the entire address space, 4 

Virtual memory requires the use of a 
memory management unit that deter- 
mines when to swap objects to and from 
RAM. Since an MM U is an integral part 
of the 68030 processor, the Mac IIx, Mac 
Ilex, and Mac SE/30 will have virtual 
memory the moment System 7.0 is in- 
stalled. For the Mac II, a 68851 paged 
memory management unit chip must be 
placed in the MMU socket. The Mac 
Plus and Mac SE, using 68000 proces- 
sors, won't be able to take advantage of 
this feature. 

MAC 196 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement 

Outline Fonts 

The bit-mapped fonts normally used by 
the Mac have several limitations. You 
can display a font— and print it on a non- 
PostScript printer— with good results if 
you have the font resident on your sys- 
tem. The problem is, handling every pos- 
sible point size of every typeface you 
might ever need requires lots of disk 
space. Not only that, but these low-reso- 
lution bit maps reproduce poorly on 
high-resolution laser printers. 

Apple's solution is outline fonts. In 
outline fonts, a character is stored as 
points that describe its outline mathemat- 
ically as a series of quadratic B-splines. 
As with PostScript fonts, this technique 
allows the accurate representation of 
characters on high-resolution output de- 
vices, such as laser or Lintronic printers. 
For low- or medium-resolution devices, 
such as impact printers or the screen, 
where the character must be mapped into 
the constraints of a grid containing a 
limited number of print wires or pixels, 
the outline fonts provide another display 

An Apple instruction set allows a font 
vendor to associate a program with each 
character that, when executed by System 
7.0's low-level software, will correct the 
character's appearance to fit within the 
grid of the output device. This promises 
to give the Mac the ability to generate at- 
tractive text for an output device of any 
resolution and at any point size while 
using just a single outline font for a given 
typeface. Apple plans to publish the out- 
line specifications and instruction set for 
use by third-party font vendors. 

Communications Toolbox 

As its name implies, the Communica- 
tions Toolbox will provide all applica- 
tions with high-level access to standard 
communications functions. Currently, 
an application must access serial or net- 
working drivers directly to use commu- 
nications services. The Communications 
Toolbox will accomplish this in much the 

same way 
that Color Quick- 
Draw does: by providing a set 
of versatile device-independent routines, 
while low-level software handles the 
chore of translating these routines to 
hardware-specific calls for a particular 
I/O board. A set of "standard" dialog 
boxes will allow the user to configure 
communications parameters, such as the 
transmission rate, parity, and stop bits 
for the serial port. 

The Communications Toolbox has 
been under development for some time. 
It will be available for use with System 
6.0.3 in the third quarter of this year. 

New Print Architecture 

System 7.0 will provide a new printing 
architecture that supports color, gray- 
scale, and custom page sizes (e.g., mail- 
ing labels and tickets). It will accomplish 
this while retaining a one-to-one corre- 
spondence with the old printing calls. 

As a result, the new printing architec- 
ture will be compatible with most exist- 
ing applications; note, however, that 
existing printer drivers won't work with 
System 7.0. However, Apple will license 
a developer's toolkit so that third-party 
vendors can rapidly modify their drivers 
to work under the new operating system. 
This will also allow the Mac to support a 
larger variety of printers. 

No Memory Protection 

One of the biggest disappointments in the 
System 7.0 announcement is that the ma- 
chine will have no preemptive scheduler 
or hardware-supported memory protec- 
tion. This is unfortunate. I've seen 
MultiFinder handle an application crash 
elegantly with just an informative mes- 
sage on more than one occasion, but just 
as often I've had an application crash toss 
me into the safety net of the TMON de- 
bugger. While MultiFinder works, it is 
only as capable as the most poorly be- 
haved application. Obviously, you should 

run only reliable applications with Multi- 
Finder, but I think the onus of system in- 
tegrity should lie with the operating sys- 
tem, not with the application designer. 

To be fair, the reason Apple did not 
implement hardware protection at this 
time was to maintain compatibility with 
existing applications. The Mac operating 
system currently makes no distinction 
between system code and application 
code: everything runs in the 68000's 
supervisor mode. Furthermore, the sys- 
tem stack is used to share resource infor- 
mation among running applications. If 
memory protection "walled off" the 
Mac operating system and the system 
stack from Mac applications, much of the 
application software would break. Under 
these circumstances, it seems to me that 
the lack of hardware memory protection 
is reasonable, but I'd like to see it in the 

Future Course 

I've covered only a handful of the fea- 
tures that System 7.0 will provide the 
Mac user. Again, most of the informa- 
tion is preliminary. I'll report more on 
System 7.0 and other features as it's re- 
leased and the details become firm. You 
can expect to see System 7.0 released 
early next year. 

I'm encouraged by the new openness 
at Apple. The publication of the outline 
font specifications and the printer toolkit 
are a significant step in the right direc- 
tion in the era of open system architec- 
ture. The support for the entire product 
line is also encouraging, but I'm skepti- 
cal that this can be accomplished for the 
Mac Plus. Nevertheless, if Apple makes 
System 7.0 live up to its promise and can 
deliver it on schedule, the Mac will have 
many of the features found in OS/2 sys- 
tems, and in some areas, it will surpass 
them, a 

Tom Thompson is a BYTE senior techni- 
cal editor at large. He can be reached on 
BIX as "tom_thompson. " 


AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 197 


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List Manager Techniques 

Jan Eugenides 

One of the Macintosh interface's distin- 
guishing characteristics is the way it lets 
you scroll through, highlight, and select 
individual entries in lists of information. 
That information can take the form of 
data or filenames— either as text or as 
icons. The tool that gives you this power 
and mobility is called List Manager, and 
it's one of the handier items ever con- 
ceived for easing the lives of both users 
and programmers. 

Briefly, List Manager provides an easy 
way of displaying small lists of data in a 
row-and-column format. It handles most 
of the mouse interactions (e.g., scroll- 
ing, highlighting, hit testing, and select- 
ing list elements). It's best for straight 
text lists, but it can smoothly handle 
graphical items such as icons and the 
kinds of pictures you've come to know 
through MacPaint's tool palette window. 

The information in this article will let 
you take an informed look at List Man- 
ager. If your interest in the Mac is pri- 
marily as a user of applications, this de- 
tailed examination will help you gain an 
insight into the complexity underlying 
the Mac interface. Whether you're a ca- 
sual programmer who'd like to custom- 
ize commercial software or a profession- 
al who writes applications from scratch, 
you'll recognize straightforward tech- 
niques you can use to take some of the 
hassle out of Mac programming. 

Although my code is written in MPW 
C 3.0, the techniques I use apply to other 
languages as well. Please note that al- 
though I refer to sample code in this arti- 
cle, it was not possible to include the 
code in its entirety. It is, however, avail- 
able on disk and on BIX for downloading 
(see page 5 for details). 

List Manager Basics 

The first item of business when working 
with the List Manager is to create an 
empty list. A list is always associated 
with a particular window and is dis- 
played in a rectangle within that window. 
The list can have vertical and horizontal 

Handling lists 

of information ? 

Here 's how the List 

Manager can help. 

scroll bars if needed, and it can be made 
resizable. The call to create a new list, 
LNew(), is shown in listing 1. To help 
distinguish them from the other 400-odd 
Mac Toolbox calls, List Manager calls 
are prefaced with an "L." 

Most of LNew()'s parameters are fair- 
ly self-explanatory. The Rect rView is 
the rectangle in which the list will be dis- 
played in the window's local coordi- 
nates. It does not include the area for the 
scrollbars, if any. 

The size of the list in rows and col- 
umns is given by Rect dataBounds. The 
dimensions of a list are always specified 
in numbers of cells; for example, if you 
wanted to create a list with 5 columns by 
10 rows, you would set dataBounds to 

A Cell is really nothing more than a 
Point structure; that is, 

struct Point { 
short v; 
short h; 



The size of a cell in the list is determined 
by the vertical and horizontal values of 
the cSize parameter. 

The parameter theProc is the re- 
source ID number of the list definition 
(LDEF) to use for the new list. If you 
pass NULL for this parameter, the de- 
fault text-only list definition is used. 
Much of the power of the List Manager 
lies in writing your own list definitions, 
which I'll discuss in more detail later. 

The WindowPtr w is the window to 
which the list should be attached. The 
Boolean drawlt determines whether 
drawing is turned on or off when the list 
is created (more on this later); the Bool- 
ean grow determines whether the list will 
be resizable; the Boolean scrollH deter- 
mines whether the list has a horizontal 
scroll bar; and the Boolean scrollV de- 
termines whether the list has a vertical 
scroll bar. 



AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 199 


The handle returned by LNew ( ) refer- 
ences a data structure called a List 
Record. It's a fairly complex structure, 
but since various List Manager routines 
are provided for accessing cell data, 
you'll rarely, if ever, have to deal with it 

The sample program that accompanies 
this article on BIX, ListMgrDemo, has 
two routines that create lists: Create- 
List() and CreatelconListQ. Look 
in the ListMgrDemo. c for two examples 
of calling the LNew( ) function. You must 

keep in mind several important points 
when setting up the List Manager. 

First, set the size of the list by using a 
userltem. I almost invariably wind up 
using the List Manager in a dialog box of 
some kind. When I lay out the dialog 
with ResEdit (Apple's resource editor), I 
find it most convenient to place a user- 
Item wherever a list will go. This allows 
me to visually select the placement of the 
various dialog elements. By writing my 
code to reference the userltem, I also 
gain the freedom to move or resize the 

Listing 1: 

The parameters for the LNew ( ) function, which creates a new list. 

pascal ListHandle LNew(rView, dataBounds, cSize, theProc, w, drawlt, grow, 


, scrollV) 



/*The display rectangle in local coordinates*/ 



/*The size of the list in rows and columns*/ 



/*The size of a cell in pixels (a Cell is a 



/*The ID of the list definition (LDEF) to use*/ 



/*The window the list should be displayed 



/*Whether drawing is turned on*/ 



/*Whether the list is resizable*/ 



/*Whether there is a horizontal scroll bar*/ 



/*Whether there is a vertical scroll bar*/ 

List Manager Demo 

fl list combining graphics and tent: 

This is item #1 
find this is item #2 

y This is a uery, uery, long i, 

(is) This is item #4 

□ Of course, this is item #5 

©This is item #6 

<^ Item #7 goes right here 


□This is item #8 O 

fln icon list: 








1 * 

Figure 1: The sample application ListMgrDemo in action. The top window shows 
the output o/MyList.c, which is a combination of scrollable text and graphics. Note 
that you can select more than one item in the list, as determined by the selection 
flags. The bottom window shows the output o/IconList, which is a list of icons. 
This type of List Manager output makes it easy to implement a tool palette window 
for a painting or CAD application. 

list later without having to change code. 

Bear in mind when you use the size of 
the userltem to determine the size of a 
list that an area for scroll bars is not in- 
cluded in the rectangle that you pass to 
LNew () . In the CreateList( ) routine in 
the sample program, notice that I sub- 
tract 15 from the right side of the rectan- 
gle before passing it to LNew(), which 
leaves room for a horizontal scroll bar in 
the window. 

Second, be careful about turning the 
list's drawing on or off. If you examine 
the CreateList() and Createlcon- 
ListQ routines, you'll see that when I 
call LNew(), I specify that drawing 
should be turned off (the drawlt param- 
eter is false). Generally speaking, it 
makes for a cleaner display if you create 
the list with drawing turned off and then 
turn drawing on with the LDoDrawQ call 
sometime before the first update event 
occurs. Otherwise, the list will be drawn 
twice. It's also a good idea to turn draw- 
ing off when adding data to multiple cells 
so that the list won't be redrawn for each 

Third, set the selection flags. The se- 
lection flags allow you to customize the 
way the List Manager handles mouse- 
clicks and drags. Figuring out just how 
to set them can be a little bit confusing, 
however, so I'll show you the two flag 
settings I've found that provide the most 
useful behavior. The two lists in the sam- 
ple application show how to set the flags, 
but I'll explain what they accomplish. 

In CreateList( ) , the flags are set to 
INoExtend + lNoRect -flUseSense 
-hlNoNilHilite, which are predefined 
List Manager constants. This allows the 
user to select multiple items by holding 
down the Shift key and clicking on them. 
The items do not have to be contiguous, 
as shown in the two scrollable windows 
in figure 1 . It also prevents empty cells 
from being selected. 

In CreatelconListQ the flags are 
set to lOnlyOne +lNoNilHilite. This 
setting allows the user to select one and 
only one item at a time. 

Finally, take advantage of the Dialog 
Manager. When you use a userltem for 
your list, you can write a small update 
function to attach to it. Whenever a 
screen update is required, the Dialog 
Manager automatically calls your func- 
tion. This eliminates the need for you to 
check and handle update events yourself 
and saves a bit of code. 

To accomplish this feat, you must pass 
the address of a properly designed func- 
tion to the Dialog Manager's SetD- 
ItemQ function. SetDItemQ is a ROM 
Toolbox call usually used to set a partic- 

MAC 200 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement 


ular dialog item to a given rectangle or to 
change the appearance of a control. It's 
declared as follows: 

SetDItem(DialogPtr dig, short 
item, short kind, Handle h, 
Rect r) ; 

In the case of a user Item, however, you 
can pass a pointer to an update function 
in the h parameter. The update function 
should be declared like this: 

pascal void DrawItem(DialogPeek 
dpeek, short itemNo) 

In the sample program, there are two 
update procedures, one for each list. 
They are named DrawList( ) and Draw- 
IconList( ) . They are installed into the 
userltems right after the selection flags 
are set in both CreateList() and 
CreatelconList ( ) . 

The DrawList routine is short enough 
to include here (see listing 2). It calls 
LUpdate() to redraw the list and then 
draws a simple one-pixel frame around 
the entire list. 

Working with Cells 

Once you have the list installed in a win- 
dow or dialog box, you're ready to add 
data to it. It's unlikely that you'll know 
beforehand how many rows and columns 
a list will need unless the data is always a 
fixed size. Because of this, it is simpler 
to create the list with only one row or col- 
umn and then use the List Manager's 
LAddRow() and LAddColumn() calls to 
dynamically size the list. LAddRow( ) and 
LAddColumn( ) are declared as follows: 

pascal short LAddRow( short count, 
short rowNum, ListHandle list) ; 

pascal short LAddColumn( short 
count, short colNum, ListHandle 

Both work in a similar manner. The 
count parameter is the number of rows 
or columns you want to add. RowNum (or 
colNum) indicates where the new rows or 
columns should be inserted. They are in- 
serted before the given row or column. 
Rows and columns that are greater than 
or equal to rowNum (or colNum) are in- 
creased by count. If these values are 
larger than the last row (or column) in a 
list, new rows (or columns) are added to 
the end. Passing a value of 32767 for 
these parameters always adds rows and 
columns to the end of the list. The short 
integer that is returned by LAddRow() is 
the number of the first added row. LAdd- 

Column () returns the first added col- 
umn. All added cells are empty. 

In the sample program, the mixed 
text/graphics list is vertical, and the 
FillList() function uses LAddRow() to 
grow the list downward. I've used 
canned data for the demonstration appli- 
cation, with the data stored in an STR# 
(string list) resource and in several SICN 
(small icon) resources. This allows you 
to see how the list works without having 
to enter any data. In a real-life program, 
however, you would fill the list from 
some user-supplied data. 

The icon list in the sample program is 
horizontal and uses LAddColumn() to 
grow the list sideways. This happens in 
the FilllconListQ function. Again, 
I've used canned data for the demo. 

There are two calls for removing cells 
from a list: LDelRow() and LDelCol- 
umn( ) . These are declared as follows: 

pascal short LDelRow( short count, 
short rowNum, ListHandle list); 

pascal short LDelColumn( short 
count, short colNum, ListHandle 

Each of these deletes the number of rows 
or columns specified by the count pa- 
rameter, starting with the row or column 
specified by the rowNum or colNum pa- 
rameter. If count is 0, all the data in the 
list is quickly deleted. This gives you a 
quick way to dump all the data in a list 
without having to go through and dispose 
of each Cell one by one. 

Now you have a list, and it's the right 
size for the data you want to display. 
There are two calls for putting data into 
cells: LAddToCell() and LSetCell(). 

They are declared as follows: 

pascal void LAddToCell(Ptr data- 
Ptr, short dataLen, Cell theCell, 
ListHandle list) ; 

pascal void LSetCell(Ptr dataPtr, 
short dataLen, Cell theCell, 
ListHandle list) ; 

They both work the same way, adding 
the data that is pointed to by dataPtr, of 
length dataLen, to the cell specified by 
theCell. The difference is that LAddTo- 
Cell() appends the data to whatever is 
currently in the cell, while LSetCell() 
replaces current data with new data. 

The sample program uses only LSet- 
Cell() in the FillList() and Fill- 
IconList() functions. 

To get data back out of a cell, use 
LGetCell( ) . It is declared as follows: 

pascal void LGetCell(Ptr dataPtr, 
short *dataLen, Cell theCell, 
ListHandle list) ; 

LGetCell() copies the data from the 
given cell into the space pointed to by 
dataPtr. For this call, dataLen speci- 
fies the maximum number of bytes to be 
copied. If the data in the cell is longer 
than dataLen, only dataLen bytes will 
be copied. After the call, dataLen con- 
tains the actual number of bytes copied. 

The sample program doesn't retrieve 
any data, so it doesn't use LGetCell ( ) . 

Handling Mouse-Clicks 

Mouse-clicking is an area where the List 
Manager really shines. When you click 
on an item in the list (a mouse-down 


Listing 2: The DrawList ( ) function. It 's an update procedure that 's called 
by the Dialog Manager when the Mac 's screen must be redrawn. 

pascal void DrawList (dpeek, itemNo) 
DialogPeek dpeek; 
short itemNo; 









LUpdate(dpeek->window.port.visRgn,myList); /*Call list manager to update 

the list-it will call our 

GetDItem((DialogPtr)dpeek, itemNo, &iType,&iHand,&iBox) ; 
InsetRect(&iBox,-l,-l) ; 
iBox. right -= 15; 
FrameRect(&iBox) ; /*Draw a nice outline around the list*/ 

AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 201 


event), you have to make only one call to 
LClickQ. It manages control until the 
user releases the mouse button and han- 
dles all selection of cells (according to 
the rules set by the selection flags), 
scrolling, and auto-scrolling. If a cell is 
double-clicked, LClickQ returns true. 
LClick() is declared as follows: 

pascal Boolean LClick( Point pt, 
short modifiers, ListHandle 

The pt parameter is the mouse location 
in local coordinates, and modifiers is 
the modifiers word from the event 

The sample program calls LClickQ 
in response to a mouse-down event in 
either list. Consult the DoEvent( ) func- 
tion in the source code listing for all the 

After LClickQ has returned, one or 
more cells can be selected. In many situ- 
ations, you don't have to do anything in 

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particular when a cell is selected. If you 
do need to perform some housekeeping, 
such as highlighting a control, you can 
find out which cells are selected by using 
LGetSelect ( ) . It is declared as: 

pascal Boolean LGetSelect(Boolean 
next, Cell *theCell, ListHandle 

LGetSelect () acts differently depend- 
ing on the value of next. If next is false, 
LGetSelect () returns true if the given 
Cell is selected. If next is true, LGet- 
Select returns in theCell the next se- 
lected cell in the row that is greater than 
or equal to theCell. 

For simple lists that can have only one 
selected item, you can get the currently 
selected item by setting next to true and 
theCell to 0,0. For lists that allow 
multiple selections, use a while loop 
with next set to false. 

Overcoming the 32K-byte Limit 

One major limitation of the List Manager 
is that a list can contain only 32K bytes of 
data. If you use the default text-only list 
definition, all the text in the list must add 
up to less than 32K bytes. There is also 
an overhead of 2 bytes per cell that 
counts toward this limit. 

While 32K bytes can hold a fair 
amount of text, it is wholly insufficient 
for many types of graphics. A single 
PICT, for example, can be more than 
32K bytes in size. Then how can you use 
the List Manager? The secret is in how 
you write your custom list definition 

Look closely at the FillListQ and 
FillIconList() functions in the sam- 
ple program. In particular, examine the 
LSetCell( ) call, which adds data to the 
list. In both cases, you'll find that the 
only data added to the list is a handle, 
which is only 4 bytes long. I've written 
both of the custom list definition func- 
tions for this program to reference their 
data through handles. That way, it 
doesn't matter how large the actual data 
is— only 4 bytes are required in the list 
itself (plus 2 bytes overhead). With 32K 
bytes of possible list data, that gives you 
over 5300 elements, no matter how big 
they are. 

There is one caveat when using this 
method: You must dispose of your data 
yourself. You can't just call LDelRowQ 
or LDelColumn() with a count of zero. 
Only data that is actually in the list (that 
is, the handles) will be deleted this way. 
You must go through the list cell by cell 
and dispose of the data referenced by the 

MAC 202 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement Circle 454 on Reader Service Card 


Custom List Definition Functions 

This brings me at last to writing the list 
definition functions that I promised at 
the beginning of this article. They are 
surprisingly simple to write and are very 
useful. Formally, they are declared as 
fol lows: 

pascal void ListDef Proc ( short 
message, Boolean select, Rect 
*lRect, Cell cell, short dataOff- 
set, short dataLen, ListHandle 

They must be written as a single piece of 
code, with the entry point located at the 
beginning of the code. This code is put 
into an LDEF resource. With MPW, it is 
easy to create a make file to do this auto- 
matically. Check out the file ListMgr- 
Demo.make in the sample program to see 
how it's done. 

The message parameter that controls 
what the list definition must do can as- 
sume four values: UnitMsg, lDrawMsg, 
lHiliteMsg, and lCloseMsg. Most lists 
won't need special initialization and can 
ignore both UnitMsg and lCloseMsg. 

When your list definition function re- 
ceives an lDrawMsg message, it means 
that a cell needs to be drawn. The IRect 
parameter is the rectangle in which the 
cell should be drawn. The IDataOf f set 
parameter is the offset into the list data of 
the cell's data; IDataLen is the length of 
the cell's data. 

The lHiliteMsg message means that 
a cell must be highlighted. In most cases, 
this simply means the cell is highlighted, 
and a simple InvertRect() call will do 
the job. 

Two That Do the Job 

In the sample program, there are two 
custom list definitions. The icon list defi- 
nition is contained in the file I con- 
List. c, and the mixed text/graphics list 
definition is in the file MyList. c. Refer 
to figure 1 to see how these lists appear 

The simpler of the two definitions is 
IconList. c. Because the data consists of 
nothing but a handle to an icon, and the 
cells contain nothing but icons, it is a 
simple matter to draw the icon in the 
given rectangle. 

MyList. c contains a somewhat more 
complex drawing function. For this list, 
the handle refers to a structure that con- 
tains a string and a handle to a small icon 
(SICN) resource. To draw the cell, the 
drawing routine first checks the width of 
the string to see if it will fit in the cell. If 
it will, the routine just draws it with 
DrawString(). If it won't fit, the string 

is shortened until it will, and an ellipsis 
( . ) is appended to the end. 

There is no Toolbox call to plot a small 
icon, so the list definition contains its 
own routine to do this. The PlotSICN( ) 
function treats the small icon as an off- 
screen bit map, which is all that it really 
is, and then uses CopyBits() to put it 
into the cell. The result is a small icon 
followed by some text, much like the 
display used by Standard File for file 

As I hope you've seen from examining 
my two list definitions, writing one is 
really no big deal. It does give you a lot 
of flexibility when you need to display a 
scrollable list of graphics or text, or both. 
The built-in List Manager functions 
make this chore an easy one. ■ 

Jan Eugenides is a senior software engi- 
neer for Solutions, Inc., ofWilliston, Ver- 
mont. He can be reached on BIX as 
"j. eugenides. " 

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Program Design 

Richard D. Lasky 

HyperCard's most attractive feature is, 
perhaps, the accessibility of its program- 
ming language, HyperTalk. Never be- 
fore has so much programming power 
been put in the hands of so many. How- 
ever, in programming, just as in politics, 
power carries with it certain responsibil- 
ities. HyperTalk is a concise yet poten- 
tially powerful programming language. 
Using it properly, a novice programmer 
can produce a stack with all the utility 
and grace of a stand-alone program. On 
the other hand, a carelessly crafted stack 
can be awkward and full of bugs. In this 
article, I'll discuss some of the program- 
ming issues you should consider when 
you want to design efficient, profession- 
al-looking stacks. 

General Stack Design 

As a stack designer, you have a responsi- 
bility to provide users with easy and logi- 
cal navigation through your stack. Many 
stacks have dozens of cards and several 
different backgrounds, and the menu bar 
is often hidden in order to gain screen 
space or limit the choices available to 
users. These factors make navigational 
aids even more important. It's a good 
idea to provide a map of the major routes 
within your stack or use visual effects to 
give users a sense of direction for navi- 
gating within the stack. Also, be consis- 
tent: If the "iris open" effect is used 
when branching off from the main card, 
then use the "iris close" effect when re- 
turning from that diversion. 

HyperCard is quite poky when run- 
ning on a standard 1 -megabyte Mac Plus, 
even from a hard disk. When a delay is 
likely, you should give users immediate 
feedback. Use automatic highlighting 
buttons whenever possible and get into 
the habit of placing the line "set the cur- 
sor to 4" at the beginning of your mouse- 
Up message handler scripts. This will 
display the "watch" cursor while your 
script is working. It is not necessary to 
reset the "hand" cursor at the end of your 
script. HyperCard will automatically re- 

Howto improve 
stack efficiency 
and appearance 

vert to it the moment that your script 

Efficient Code 

One measure of programming proficien- 
cy is the ability to write clear, concise 
code. This is just as valuable in Hyper- 
Talk as in any other programming lan- 
guage. Because it is so easy to get a stack 
up and running in HyperCard, script 
writers may not write the most concise 
script possible. For example, the script 
in listing 1 was designed to hide all the 
buttons on a card so that only the text 
fields would print. After the card was 
printed, the card buttons were to be made 
visible again. The script in listing 1 ac- 
complishes its task, but the same result is 
also obtained by the more succinct script 
shown in listing 2. Fifteen lines of script 
are replaced by nine. Another advantage 
of the second script is that it will still 
work if you need to add more buttons to 
the card. 

While the difference in speed and per- 
formance for any one message handler 
may not amount to much, small ineffi- 
ciencies will quickly add up as you build 
your stack. HyperCard, an interpreted 
language, is slow compared to compiled 
languages such as C or assembly. Writ- 
ing tight, efficient message handlers en- 
ables you to make the best use of the Hy- 
perTalk language. 

Choosing Stack Levels 

Another dimension of efficiency in Hy- 
perTalk programming is choosing the 
most advantageous stack level for your 
code to reside in. Each message handler 
script is attached to a certain object in the 
stack, and the classes of objects in Hy- 
perCard are assigned a definite hierar- 
chy. You can make a stack much more ef- 
ficient, and easier to edit and debug, by 
placing as much of the code as possible at 
the highest level in the hierarchy consis- 
tent with function. This goal can be fa- 
cilitated by creating custom messages 



AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 205 


with their own message handlers. 

Here is an example: Radio buttons are 
often used in HyperCard to enable you to 
select one of a number of choices, each 
represented by a button. The last button 
to be chosen is highlighted, while the 
others are not. When you make a differ- 
ent selection, the targeted button is high- 
lighted and the highlight of the former 
choice is turned off. This is easily ac- 
complished by including the lines in list- 
ing 3 in the script of each button. 

While this approach will do the job, 
there is a better way than having to in- 
clude these same lines of code in each 
button's script. Simply define a handler 
for a custom message I'll call update- 
Button (but it could be any single word 
not already reserved by HyperCard), 


ou must 
try to prepare scripts 
to handle every 

shown in listing 4. When the update- 
Button handler is placed at a higher level 
in the hierarchy than the button level, it 
can be called by simply typing the single 
word updateButton on a line in the 

Listing 1 : This HyperTalk script hides all the buttons 

on a card 

so that only 

the text will be printed. Note that it has 

a length of 15 


on mouseUp 



"Boston II" 






"New York" 






"Next Card" 



"Print Card" 

doMenu "Print Card" 



"Boston II" 






"New York" 






"Next Card" 



"Print Card" 

end mouseUp 

Listing 2: A script of nine lines that accomplishes the same task as that in 
listing 1. Plus, it will still work if you add more buttons. 

on mouseUp 

repeat with n=l to the number of buttons 

hide button n 
end repeat 
doMenu "Print Card" 
repeat with n=l to the number of buttons — hidden buttons 

show button n — still counted by HC 
end repeat 
end mouseUp 

Listing 3: A simple button-highlight-control script. 

on mouseUp 

repeat with n=l to the number of buttons 
set the hilite of button n to false 

end repeat 

set the hilite of the target to true 

<other commands here> 
end mouseUp 

script of the radio button (see the mouse- 
Up handler in listing 4). 

The only question remaining is where 
to put the updateButton message han- 
dler. You could put it in the script of the 
card that contains your group of radio 
buttons. But if you decide later to have 
another card full of radio button choices, 
you'll have to duplicate the message han- 
dler in the script of that second card, 
which is an inefficient technique. In- 
cluding the handler in the background 
script will cover all the cards of the same 
background, but you may want to do the 
same thing in another background. With 
a custom handler such as this, the best 
place for it is the stack script, where it 
will be accessible to calls from anywhere 
in the stack. 

Avoiding Error Messages 

Another problem that may befall a Hy- 
perTalk programmer is an error message 
caused by an unanticipated user re- 
sponse. If you want to give your stack the 
look of a professional program, you must 
try to prepare your scripts to handle 
every contingency. This is particularly 
important when asking users to input 
data that will be used for arithmetic cal- 
culations. I wrote the script shown in list 1 
ing 5 to handle such situations. This mes- 
sage handler was placed in the stack 
script. Whenever the user enters data 
that must be a valid number, the script 
calls the checkResponse handler as 
shown in the mouseUp handler in listing 
5. The checkResponse handler does two 
things. It checks to see whether each 
character in the response is either a deci- 
mal point or one of the 10 digits, and it 
also makes sure there is not more than 
one decimal point in the response. Thus, 
any input that passes this test may be 
used by HyperCard for arithmetic 

Passing Parameters 

The scripts in listing 5 also present a 
good illustration of parameter passing. A 
user's entry is put into the local variable 
response, which is then used as a pa- 
rameter to the message checkResponse. 
This invokes the message handler, on 
checkResponse, which is passed the 
variable response. The checkResponse 
handler then determines if response is a 
valid number. 

Note the use of the global variable 
valid in both scripts. This is necessary 
because parameters can be passed in 
only one direction, to the called handler. 
Any changes in the value of a parameter 
will not be passed back to the calling 
script. In this example, I needed a way to 

MAC 206 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement 

Circle 459 on Reader Service Card 


Listing 4: A button-highlight-control handler, updateButton. 

on updateButton 

repeat with n=l to the number of buttons 
set the hilite of button n to false 

end repeat 

set the hilite of the target to true 
end updateButton 

on mouseUp 


<other commands here> 
end mouseUp 

Listing 5: This script checks that input data is of the anticipated type. 

on checkResponse response 
global valid 
put into pointCount 
repeat with n=l to the length of response 

if char(n) of response = "." then put 1 + pointCount 

into pointCount 
if char(n) of response is not in ".1234567890" or 
pointCount > 1 then 
answer "Please enter a number only." 
put false into valid 
exit checkResponse 
end if 
end repeat 
put true into valid 
end checkResponse 

on mouseUp 

global valid 
put false into valid 
repeat until valid 
ask "Number of inches to convert" 

if it is empty then exit mouseUp 
put it into response 
checkResponse response 
end repeat 
put response * 2.54 into msg 
end mouseUp 

pass a Boolean result back from my re- 
sponse-checking script to the script that 
would use the response. This was accom- 
plished with the use of a global variable. 

User Levels 

HyperCard has five userLevels. Many 
actions possible on userLevel 5 are not 
allowed at userLevel 1 or 2. If your 
stack requires a particular userLevel, 
you should provide scripts that set user- 
Level to the desired level upon opening 
the stack and reset the previous user- 
Level when leaving the stack. Suppose 
you wanted to set the userLevel to script 
as well as hide the menu bar and the tool, 
pattern, and message windows. You 
would put the handlers in listing 6 into 
the stack script. The openStack handler 


Listing 6: A script to set 


on openStack 

global oldLevel 

get userLevel 

put it into oldLevel 

set userLevel to 5 

hide menuBar 

hide tool window 

hide pattern window 

hide msg 
end openStack 

on closeStack 

global oldLevel 

set userLevel to oldLevel 
end closeStack 



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& fruit into msg 

Listing 7: You can put dialog boxes in your stack by using this script. 

card button "Choose Fruit" 
on mouseUp 

global fruit — variable keeps track of fruit chosen 

put empty into fruit --initialize value 

put "Please select a fruit from the list." into msg 

show card field "FruitList" 

show card field "Mask" 

show button "OK" 

show button "Cancel" 
end mouseUp 

card button "OK" 
on mouseUp 

global fruit 

put "You chose 

hide card field 

hide card field "Mask" 

hide button "OK" 

hide button "Cancel" 
end mouseUp 

card button "Cancel" 
on mouseUp 

put empty into msg 

hide card field "FruitList" 

hide card field "Mask" 

hide button "OK" 

hide button "Cancel" 
end mouseUp 

card field "FruitList" 
on mouseUp 
global fruit 
set lockText of me to FALSE 

—Unlocks field: allows selection, 
click at the clickLoc 
select the selectedLine 

— selects text in chosen line 
put the selectedText into fruit 

— stores selection in global variable 
set lockText of me to TRUE 

— Locks field: user can't mess up text, 
end mouseUp 

(Choose Fruit) 





Anrjrn.t <^ . 




OK | | Cancelj 

Please select a fruit from the list. 

Figure 1: The dialog box described in listing 7. The user has just clicked on the 
word Pears. After the OK or Cancel button is clicked, the dialog box vanishes. 

MAC 208 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement 


declares a global variable, oldLevel, 
puts userLevel into oldLevel, and then 
sets the current userLevel to 5. The 
closeStack handler resets userLevel to 

Dialog Boxes 

One of the standard features of the Mac- 
intosh interface is the scrolling-field dia- 
log box. The user is presented with a 
scrolling list of items and asked to select 
one. Whenever the user clicks on an 
item, it is highlighted, and if he or she is 
satisfied with that choice, clicking an OK 
button records the selection and closes 
the dialog box. With a bit of clever pro- 
gramming in HyperTalk, you can dupli- 
cate this type of interface from within 
your stack, but the implementation of 
this feature requires HyperCard 1.2 (for 
the select command and selected 
line property). 

Figure 1 shows a dialog box created 
with the HyperCard scripts shown in list- 
ing 7. In this example, a scrolling list of 
fruit pops up in response to clicking on 
the button Choose Fruit. The message 
handler for this button gives the com- 
mand to show the objects that make up 


approach is to restrict 

the font styles 

in text fields to fonts 

required by the system: 

Geneva, Chicago, 

or Monaco. 

the dialog box: a scrolling field called 
FruitList, a field called Mask to provide 
room for buttons, and the OK and Cancel 
buttons. Depending on the order in 
which they are created, you may have to 
use the Bring Forward or Send Back 
commands to arrange the objects in the 
proper order. 

The key to the dialog box is contained 

in the mouseUp message handler in the 
script of the FruitList field. A global 
variable is used to store the chosen fruit. 
The field is unlocked, which allows it to 
recognize the line selected. The text is 
highlighted with the select command, 
and the selectedText is put into the 
global variable fruit for later retrieval. 
The field is locked again, to prevent the 
user from altering the text in the list. 
Clicking the OK or the Cancel button 
closes the dialog box by hiding its com- 
ponent objects. If OK is clicked, the fruit 
chosen is identified in the message box. 

Smart Scroll Bars 

In most Macintosh windows, the scroll 
bars are not active unless they are re- 
quired. A HyperCard scrolling field, on 
the other hand, always shows an active 
scroll bar, even if there is plenty of room 
for the text it contains. I decided to 
remedy this situation while working on a 
stack with several background fields 
shared by a group of cards. This stack en- 
ables a user to keep a daily log of meals 
eaten. Food items for each meal are 
chosen from menus and are then listed in 


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Listing 8: A script that creates "smart" scroll boxes. 

on openCard 

if the number of lines in field 1 > 6 then 

set the style of field 1 to scrolling 

set the style of field 1 to rectangle 
end if 
if the number of lines in field 2 > 4 then — This part adjusts field 

set the style of field 2 to scrolling — style, 

set the style of field 2 to rectangle 
end if 
if the number of lines in field 3 > 7 then 

set the style of field 3 to scrolling 

set the style of field 3 to rectangle 
end if 
if the number of lines in field 4 > 3 then 

set the style of field 4 to scrolling 

set the style of field 4 to rectangle 
end if 

—other commands as needed here 
end openCard 



1 bagel 

1 Fried Egg 

1 cup 40% Bran Flakes 

6 oz. orange juice 



6 02 Rib Eye steak 
1 Baked Potato 
1 serving peas 
1 serving lettuce 
1 piece Coffee Cake 
1 glass of Red Wine 
1 cup of coffee 



2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 

1 Tbsp Jelly 

2 slices Sourdough Bread 

1 piece Carrot Cake 




4 oz Potato Chips 


Total Cholesterol 309.75 1 mg 
Total Carbohydrate 350 g 
Total Fat 170 g 45% of Cal 

Total Percent RDH 
Calories 3417 1 16 % 

Protein 102 g 1 82 % 


Figure 2: A card illustrating the use of automatic scrolling fields. The script in 
listing 8 determines which of the four meal list fields needs to be scrolling and which 
should be rectangular for a given card in this background. 

a background field representing that 
meal. Each card represents a different 
day in the log. Because I did not know 
how many food items would be chosen 
for a given meal, I had to make use of 
scrolling fields when necessary. My 
solution is shown in listing 8, with a sam- 
ple card shown in figure 2. 

The script in listing 8, placed in the 
background script of the food log, 
checks each field to see whether it con- 

tains more lines of text than are visible 
for that field. If it does, the field style is 
set to scrolling; otherwise, it is set to 
rectangle. Note that there is no problem 
in setting a field to a style it already has. 
Because these are background fields, 
they have to be updated each time a dif- 
ferent card is opened. While the text of a 
background field is specific for a given 
card, the style of that field will remain 
the same for every card in that back- 

M AC 210 BYTE- AUGUST 1 989 Bonus Mac Supplement 


ground unless it is changed by a script, as 
in listing 8. 

Font Control 

I would like to make one final point re- 
garding text fields. If you intend to dis- 
tribute your stack, it is important to en- 
sure that the text font you choose will not 
be changed drastically when your stack is 
run on another Mac. I was made acutely 
aware of this problem when I ran one of 
my stacks on another machine recently. I 
had some fields that were originally set 
for the Boston II font. This text was bare- 
ly recognizable on the other Mac, as my 
carefully measured words were con- 
verted to an ornate font that forced unde- 
sired line returns, thus cutting of f part of 
the text at the bottom of the field. The ex- 
planation was simple: The System file on 
this Mac didn't have the Boston II font, 
and another, quite inappropriate, font 
(with the same font ID as Boston II has 
on my system) had been substituted in its 

There are two ways to prevent this 
problem. OneistouseFont/DA Mover to 
install the desired font on your stack 
(hold down the Option key while select- 
ing open from Font/DA Mover). I don't 
favor this approach, however; stacks 
grow in size too rapidly as it is, without 
loading them up with fonts. A better ap- 
proach is to restrict the font styles used in 
your text fields to those fonts required by 
the system: Geneva, Chicago, or Mona- 
co. If you must use a fancy, exotic font in 
your stack, don't place the text in a field 
at all. Simply select the text tool and do 
your writing on the graphics layer. Text 
that you create in this way exists as a bit- 
mapped image that will not be affected 
by system fonts. 

More Fun with HyperTalk 

I have presented some guidelines for pro- 
gramming HyperCard stacks that I hope 
you will find useful. HyperTalk has its 
limitations as a programming language, 
but its utility for many users is limited 
only by their imagination and creativity. 
HyperCard has made programming the 
Mac more fun than ever. 

By attending to the issues I have raised 
here, HyperTalk scripters will be more 
likely to create stacks people will value 
and enjoy using. I'm looking forward to 
seeing more of them in the future. ■ 

Richard D. Lasky is a biochemist, Mac- 
intosh enthusiast, and certified Apple de- 
veloper. He is the author of Nutrition 
Stack, which calculates the nutritional 
content of meals. He can be reached on 
BIXc/o "editors." 


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AUGUST 1989 Bonus Mac Supplement -BYTE MAC 213 



217 Time to Get Fired Up 

by Klaus K. Obermeier 
and Janet J. Barron 

227 What's Hidden in 
the Hidden Layers? 

by DavidS. Touretzky 
and Dean A. Pomerleau 

235 Building Blocks for Speech 

by Alex Waibel 
and John Hampshire 

244 Neural Networks: 
Theory and Practice 

You could describe neural net- 
works as humanity's attempt to 
create an artificial brain- 
shades of science fiction. In 
their current stage of development, how- 
ever, it would be more correct to describe 
them as humanity's attempt to mimic the 
way the brain does things in order to har- 
ness its versatility and its ability to infer 
and intuit from incomplete or confusing 

What happens when you learn some- 
thing? Most of us would probably answer 
with words like remembering, under- 
standing, storing, and retrieving. But 
there's more. Brain surgeons or behav- 
ioral psychologists might discuss firing 
neurons, making new connections, or re- 
training behavior patterns. But even they 
can't tell you exactly what happens when 
you learn— or how. 

To find out, you can observe and 
record the tangible inputs to the learning 
process as well as the end result. You can 
show how learning varies from person to 
person depending on the pattern of inputs 
and on such intangibles as past history, 
emotional state, and so on. Then you can 
surmise from these elements some of 
what has occurred. 

Learning about neural networks re- 
quires a new vocabulary. You don't pro- 
gram a neural network, you "teach" it. 
You measure its speed not in instructions 
per second but in interconnections per 

This month's In Depth section defines 
and describes neural networks, their dif- 
ferences from traditional computing, and 
their implications and uses in the micro- 
computer arena. 

In "Time to Get Fired Up," Klaus K. 
Obermeier and Janet J. Barron provide a 
look at today's neural-network technol- 
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toshes, and personal workstations can 

run neural-network simulations to solve 
problems that digital means can't handle 
efficiently. And the text box "In an Up- 
scale World" by Kingsley G. Morse Jr. 
explains the dynamics of neural-network 
scalability, going from a sample-size 
network to a real-world application. 

Neural networks have input and output 
like conventional computing, but what 
happens in between the two has long 
been a mystery. In "What's Hidden in 
the Hidden Layers?" David S. Touretzky 
and Dean A. Pomerleau show how you 
can determine what lies in between— 
what's really going on. 

Speech recognition is a complex task 
for which even the largest computers are 
not particularly well suited. Neural net- 
works, however, have the flexibility to 
interpret complex and confusing audio 
signals. In "Building Blocks for 
Speech," Alex Waibel and John Hamp- 
shire show how neural networks can be 
used to create high-performance speech- 
recognition systems. 

Neural networks may sound like sci- 
ence fiction, but they aren't. As this 
month's resource guide, "Neural Net- 
works: Theory and Practice," will show, 
they are the basis for real microcomputer 
products. Science fiction is known as a 
domain of visionaries, a field that often 
leads the way to the future. While an ar- 
tificial brain may still reside in the world 
of science fiction, neural networks have 
bridged the gap to become science fact. 
—Jane Morrill Tazelaar 

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Time to Get 
Fired Up 

IBM PCs, Macs, and personal workstations can run 
neural-network simulations that learn and train themselves 

Klaus K. Obermeier and Janet J. Barron 

Every time that you 
use a high-speed 
modem, you are 
using a single-neu- 
ron, many-synapse, neural 
network. This tiny neural net- 
work uses adaptive signal 
processing, learns the system, 
and eliminates some of the 
problems (such as echoing) 
that may occur. This adaptive 
filtering process is just one of 
the neural networks devel- 
oped in the 1950s by Stanford 
University's Bernard Wi- 
drow, pioneer in and founder 
of the field of neural net- 

Another of Widrow's early 
neural-network applications 
was a simple weather-fore- 
casting system in 1963. When 
fed many samples of yester- 
day's pressure and today's 
weather, it came up with to- 
morrow's forecast. Widrow's 
system was correct about 83 
percent o f the time (compared t o an accu- 
racy rate of about 65 percent for the local 

For some time, there has been a need 
for a way to solve problems that cannot 
be efficiently handled by digital means. 
A neural network is composed of many 
interconnected processing elements that 
operate in parallel. It works in a way 
similar to how we think the neurons in 


the human brain encode information. 

Instead of programming a neural net- 
work, you "teach" it to give acceptable 
answers. You input known information, 
assign weighted values to the connec- 
tions within the architecture, and run the 
network (which adjusts those weights by 
using several criteria) over and over until 
the output is satisfactorily accurate. A 
weighted matrix of interconnections 

allows neural networks to 
learn and remember. As a re- 
sult of the way they work, 
even when you enter new in- 
formation that is not stored in 
the network, they can still 
provide adequate responses. 

Neural-network technol- 
ogy, also called connection- 
ism, is moving very quickly, 
and working tools are rapidly 
coming into use. As they 
emerge, you'll be able to use 
that technology to resolve 
issues that don't have straight- 
forward black-and-white, 
yes-or-no answers. 

When they work correctly, 
neural networks provide some 
major benefits, such as the 
ability to take incomplete data 
and produce approximate re- 
sults. Their parallelism, 
speed, and trainability make 
them fault-tolerant, as well as 
fast and efficient for handling 
large amounts of data. 
But, because neural networks work as 
we believe the human brain does, they 
don't handle numbers well, especially if 
you need accurate answers and you need 
them fast. Accuracy, computational 
power, and logic are not among their 
strong points. And when they solve a 
problem, they can't tell you how they did 
it. At this early stage in the technology 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 217 


curve, the "real things" (biological neu- 
ral-network clones) are not available. 
What we have are simulations (artificial 
neural networks) that run on digital ma- 
chines, and they are good at pattern rec- 
ognition and functional synthesis. 

Today, artificial neural networks are 
being used for a variety of commercial 
applications, including speech, charac- 
ter, text, equipment, and human recogni- 
tion tasks; financial analysis; database 
management; image and signal process- 
ing; medical diagnosis; dealing with 
fuzzy, chaotic, or incomplete informa- 
tion; and some kinds of manufacturing, 
quality, and process control. 

Biologically Inspired 

Artificial neural networks are biologi- 
cally inspired. A biological neuron con- 
sists of axons, dendrites, and synapses. 
An artificial neuron, or processing ele- 
ment, emulates the axons and dendrites 
of its biological counterpart with wires 
and emulates the synapses by using resis- 
tors with weighted values. 

Essentially, neural-network models 
consist of processing elements, intercon- 
nection topologies, and learning 
schemes. Processing elements contain 
combinations of excitatory (positive) or 
inhibitory (negative) weights that act on 
the inputs in a summation function, in an 
activation function based on the inputs to 
the processing element, and in an output 
function that is both sigmoid and sto- 

Processing elements interact with each 
other depending on how they are inter- 
connected—fully (as opposed to par- 
tially), or with or without a feedback 
loop. As part of setting up the neural net- 
work, a variety of criteria is used to de- 
fine specific interconnections and deter- 
mine its characteristic architecture. The 
nature of its feedback loops determines 
the network's trainability; the degree of 
its interconnection determines its par- 

While a digital computer's memory is 
measured in bytes, a neural network's 
"memory" is judged by interconnec- 
tions. Likewise, while the speed of a 
digital computer is expressed in instruc- 
tions per second, the neural network's 
speed is measured in interconnections 
per second. 

Most cognitive processes take humans 
no longer than a few hundred millisec- 
onds, while individual neurons in the 
human brain compute operations at a rate 
as slow as that of a single instruction of a 
digital computer. The brain performs its 
processing feat through massive parallel- 
ism, using 10 billion neurons and more 

than 1000 times that many intercon- 

Training the Network 

To simulate massive parallelism, the 
neural-network approach consists of set- 
ting up a network of processing elements , 
the electronic analogy to neurons. Each 
processing element has a number of in- 
puts, a small setof possible states, and an 
output that is a function of the inputs. 
Each input to the processing element has 
a weight value, which usually ranges 
from 1 to - 1 . 

When a processing element is acti- 
vated, it evaluates all its inputs and com- 
putes their respective weight values. If 
the weight value is above a certain 
threshold, the computing unit generates 
an output value that is used as input by 
other processing elements. (Only the 
weight values of the inputs change during 

Training a neural network is a matter 
of adjusting weights, either manually or 
automatically. A neural network is a di- 
rected graph consisting of a number of 
nodes, or processing elements. Each pro- 
cessing element has only one output sig- 
nal, which fans out to interconnect with 
other processing elements. Each node 
processes the incoming signal based on 
the values of the constants stored in it. 
Currently, neurocomputer technology is 
based on the assumption that the update 
of signals within each node occurs dis- 
cretely, rather than continuously or 

Neural-network learning takes place 
in one of three ways: supervised, unsu- 
pervised, or self-supervised. Supervised 
learning occurs when you provide trial- 
and-error inputs, teaching the network 
correct and incorrect responses. In unsu- 
pervised learning, data is simply en- 
tered, without human intervention. This 
process leads to internal data cluster- 
ing—the desired result. Self-supervised 
learning occurs when the network moni- 
tors itself and corrects errors in the inter- 
pretation of data by feedback through the 

A neural network computes by the 
process of spreading activation. After the 
initial weights are set, you enter data into 
the network; this process causes it to pass 
through state changes and ultimately 
reach stability. A network achieves sta- 
bility when the weight values that are as- 
sociated with the processing elements 
stop changing. 

When neural networks first became 
popular, they consisted of only one or 
two layers— an input and/or an output 
layer. This severely limited what the net- 

work could represent. Adding more 
layers allowed the system to form an in- 
ternal representation of the problem. 
Networks with only one layer (made pop- 
ular by Frank Rosenblatt and unpopular 
by Marvin Minksy and Seymour Papert) 
thus restricted what could be represented 
to what was in the input configuration. 

Today's multilayer, hierarchical net- 
works are more powerful because they 
can generate their own internal represen- 
tations in the so-called hidden units. Hi- 
erarchical networks are used for the bet- 
ter-known applications, such as speech 
and character recognition. 

A hierarchical network consists of an 
input and output layer and one or more 
hidden layers (see "What's Hidden in the 
Hidden Layers?" by David S. Touretzky 
and Dean A. Pomerleau on page 227). If 
the number of processing elements in the 
middle layer is too great, it will replicate 
the elements from the input layer, caus- 
ing problems similar to those encoun- 
tered with a single-layer network. If the 
number of processing elements in the 
middle layer is too small, the network 
will require many iterations to train, and 
recall accuracy will suffer. 

All This on a Micro? 

IBM PCs and compatibles, Macintoshes, 
and personal workstations play very im- 
portant parts in the neural-network 
world. You can run simulations on them 
and, in some cases, perform neural-net- 
work development and experimentation 
on them as well. 

Neural networks are being used and 
produced in the form of either Microcom- 
puters (hardware that models the paral- 
lelism of neurons) or netware (software 
that emulates neurons and their intercon- 
nections on conventional serial com- 
puters). An important aspect of netware 
is that it can be simulated on conven- 
tional computers. 

Neurocomputers have been config- 
ured on the chip level, the board level, 
and the complete system level. General- 
purpose neurocomputers are available to 
use as coprocessors for digital com- 
puters. In this case, you access the neural 
network as if it were a subroutine that you 
can call whenever you need it. In this 
form, neurocomputers are able to operate 
side by side with conventional computer 

Last summer, NEC announced that it 
had developed a personal neural-network 
computer that uses the back-propagation 
learning algorithm. NEC's current plans 
are to market and sell the Neuro-07 only 
in Japan. The total system, which sells 
for about $ 1 1 ,000, consists of a personal 

218 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 


activation function A function by 
which new output of the basic unit is de- 
rived from a combination of the net in- 
puts and the current state of the unit (the 
total input). 

auto-associative (memory system) 

A process in which the system has 
stored a set of information repeatedly 
presented to it. Later, when you submit 
a similar pattern to the system, it can re- 
call the information from a degraded or 
incomplete version of the original. 

axon That part of a nerve cell through 
which impulses travel away from the 
cell body; the electrically active parts of 
a nerve cell. 

back-propagation A learning algo- 
rithm for a multilayer network in which 
the weights are modified via the propa- 
gation of an error signal "backward" 
from the outputs to the inputs. 

chaos The study of nonlinear dynam- 
ics (also called deterministic disorder). 

connection A pathway between pro- 
cessing elements, either positive or neg- 
ative, that links the processing elements 
into a network. 

dendrite The branched part of a 
nerve cell that carries impulses toward 
the cell body. The electrically passive 
parts of a nerve cell. 


directed graph Representation of the 
variation and direction of flow for pro- 
cessing elements with respect to other 
processing elements. 

feedback loop A loop wherein con- 
tinued input is fed back into the network 
to achieve the expected output. 

fuzzy logic Incomplete or contradic- 
tory information. 

hidden layer A third layer of units 
between the input and output layers that 
provides additional computational 

learning The phase in a neural net- 
work when new data is introduced into 
the network, causing the weights on the 
processing elements to be adjusted. 

network paradigm A network archi- 
tecture that specifies the interconnec- 
tion structure of a network. 

neuron The structural and functional 
unit of the nervous system, consisting of 
the nerve cell body and all its processes, 
including an axon and one or more 

perceptron A large class of simple 
neuron-like networks with only an input 
layer and an output layer. Developed in 
1957 by Frank Rosenblatt, this class of 
neural network had no hidden layer. 

sigmoid Having a double curve like 
the letter S. 

spreading activation A process of 
applying the activation function simul- 
taneously to a neural network. 

stochastic Involving chance, proba- 
bility, or a random variable. 

summation function A function 
that combines the various input activa- 
tions into a single activation. 

synapse The point of contact between 
adjacent neurons where nerve impulses 
are transmitted from one to the other. 

threshold A minimum level of exci- 
tation energy. 

training A process whereby a net- 
work learns to associate an input pattern 
with the correct answer. 

weight The strength of an input con- 
nection expressed by a real number. 
Processing elements receive input via 
interconnects. Each interconnect has a 
weight attached to it. The sum of the 
weights make up a value that updates 
the processing element. The output 
value of a processing element is de- 
scribed by a level of excitation that 
causes interconnects to be either on 
(i.e., excitatory output) or off (i.e., in- 
hibitory output). 

computer, a neuro-engine board, neural- 
network learning software, and a color 

The neuro-engine board performs par- 
allel processing with a maximum speed 
of 216,000 interconnections per second. 
Its software is composed of a definition 
section to determine the network's con- 
figuration, a computing section to calcu- 
late the network's output, a software- 
control section, and a user interface to 
perform editing and monitoring func- 

In 1988, about 10,000 personal com- 
puter packages of neural netware were 
sold in the (J.S., most of these from a 
disk included with Explorations in Paral- 
lel Distributed Processing (see reference 
1). In general, commercially available 
neural-network programs are those that 
lend themselves to simulation on very 
small scales— based either on the soft- 

ware itself or on special-purpose boards. 

James A. Anderson, professor of psy- 
chology and cognitive and linguistic sci- 
ences at Brown University, notes that he 
teaches a course in neural networks for 
undergraduate and graduate students. 
Most of them, he says, do the simple as- 
signments on their home computers- 
Macintoshes and IBM PCs. But, says 
Anderson, these machines with their 
standard compilers can't cope with net- 
works that have between 50 and 100 pro- 
cessing elements. 

"It's not the MIPS [millions of in- 
structions per second] a device can han- 
dle that determines whether or not you 
can use it for neural networks," Ander- 
son says. He notes that simple measure- 
ments of processor speed are especially 
misleading because many personal com- 
puters are fast but are unable to handle 
large arrays or matrices. Effective mem- 

ory management, large memories, and 
good compilers are much more impor- 
tant than raw CPU speed in performing 
neural-network computations quickly, 
he explains. 

" Engineering workstations— VAXsta- 
tions, Suns, and so forth— are ideally 
suited for the task, but even on fast work- 
stations, jobs may run for hours. Many 
personal computers completely run out 
of steam when faced with a system with 
150,000 connection strengths and 400 
dimensional arrays, whereas worksta- 
tions are designed for large jobs. Again, 
it's how good your compiler is," Ander- 
son says. "Suns and VAXes— especially 
VAXes— have wonderful compilers. But 
you can do useful development work on 
personal computers by learning a lot, 
experimenting a lot, and taking the time 
to run your own assembly language 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 219 



But not everyone shares Anderson's 
opinion about why small systems cur- 
rently have limited neural-network capa- 
bilities. There are other reasons as well. 
Smaller machines have problems run- 
ning certain large applications, such as 
complex vision systems, in real time. 
Digital machines simulate what are in- 
trinsically very parallel systems, and 
they are limited by their own speed and 
processing power. Therefore, while 
large problems, like analyzing scenes, 
are difficult to run on a personal com- 
puter or workstation, less-complex tasks 
are very workable. Presently, there are 
about 300 companies involved in neural- 
network technology, many of them mak- 
ing netware for personal computers or 

Among the products spilling out of the 
neural-network pipeline are software, 
shells, development tools, chips, and ac- 
celerator boards. Some companies are in 
the process of developing special-pur- 
pose hardware and chips for use in large- 
scale applications. The next year should 
bring the introduction of many products 
that go beyond the simulation stage. 

Applying the Knowledge 

Neural-network applications tend to fall 
into several classes: sensor and knowl- 
edge processing, pattern recognition, 
and control systems. Neural networks 
are not very good at handling tasks that 
standard serial computers are noted for, 
such as number crunching or making 
highly accurate calculations. But when it 
comes to tasks requiring incomplete data 
sets, or fuzzy or contradictory informa- 
tion, neural networks will very likely 
outperform conventional computers, in- 
cluding parallel processors. 

Massive parallelism gives neural net- 
works a high degree of 

•fault tolerance— built-in redundancy or 
the ability to withstand component fail- 
ures without crashing; 

• associative recall— the ability to re- 
trieve information instantaneously based 
on content and to make an "educated" 
guess if there's no exact match for the re- 
quested information; and 

• graceful degradation, the ability to re- 
cover gracefully from processor failure. 

These properties make neural net- 
works attractive for many commercial, 
military, and industrial applications. 

One interesting example of a combina- 
tion of neural-network applications is 
called SNOOPE (for System for Nuclear 
On-line Observation of Potential Explo- 

sives). Developed by Science Applica- 
tions International Corp. (SAIC) of San- 
ta Clara, California, SNOOPE is a 
detection system that determines the ex- 
istence of concealed plastic explosives in 
luggage and cargo. 

Successfully tested since June 1 988 on 
40,000 bags and luggage items at the San 
Francisco and Los Angeles International 
Airports, SNOOPE is a neural network 
based on a back-propagation supervised- 
learning algorithm. The network runs in 
parallel with another technique called 
thermal neutron analysis. 

SAIC was given certain criteria for the 
system: It had to continuously process 10 
bags a minute, not damage film or mag- 
netic recording media, be reliable, and 
be built from commercially available 
components wherever possible. The out- 
put, a decision as to whether or not a bag 
contains a threat, must be signaled by the 
time the bag exits the system . 

The first SNOOPE system was due to 
be installed at New York's John F. Ken- 
nedy International Airport in July. After 
that, others are slated for installation in 
airports around the world. Says Samuel 
K. Skinner, U.S. Secretary of Transpor- 
tation, "It is the best available technol- 
ogy to detect explosives. . . .Detection is 
performed by computer. No human in- 
terpretation is involved." 

Sensor processing and pattern recog- 
nition are among the many ways in which 
neural networks are being implemented. 
Applications include image processing, 
image compression, character recogni- 
tion, and continuous speech recognition. 

You can use these types of neural net- 
works to recognize underwater targets 
by sonar. Bendix Aerospace compared a 
neural-network program with a conven- 
tional program. The results showed that 
the neural network not only was better 
but also took only hours to be config- 
ured, as compared to the months it takes 
to set up a conventional classifier-based 

Programs for handwriting character 
classification also fall into the sensor- 
processing category. NestorWriter, pro- 
duced by Nestor in Providence, Rhode 
Island, for instance, can figure out some 
recognition rules based on common 
character features, such as curvature and 
orientation; thus, the system can recog- 
nize characters it hasn't seen before. Ap- 
plications for this technology range from 
processing checks to reading Japanese 

Among neural-network pattern-recog- 
nition and control-system applications 
are programs for robotics and autono- 
mous vehicles. One of the oldest exam- 

ples of control-system neural networks is 
adaptive routing and switching. Wi- 
drow's classic Adaline (for adaptive lin- 
ear element) is a program that eliminates 
echoes in telephone lines. The same 
principles can be used to reduce data- 
transmission errors in modems. 

Neural networks are efficient at han- 
dling many knowledge-processing tasks, 
such as storage and retrieval of informa- 
tion in large databases, and predictive 
modeling. In one medical expert-system 
application, a neural network was trained 
on the functional relationships between 
symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. 
Test results showed that the network re- 
sponded with 100 percent accuracy to 
nonequivocal cases, weighed the evi- 
dence in equivocal cases, and, if un- 
knowncases were presented, fellbackon 
known relationships. 

The neural network was configured in 
only a fraction of the time it would have 
taken a knowledge engineer to configure 
and build the expert system. Besides 
showing new conceptual solutions, in 
certain applications neural networks 
seem to avoid the impasse of having to la- 
boriously construct and maintain expert 

In the area of speech synthesis (see 
"Building Blocks for Speech" by Alex 
Waibel and John Hampshire on page 
235), a program called NETtalk was 
jointly developed by Terence Sejnowski 
of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Califor- 
nia, and Charles Rosenberg of Princeton 
University. NETtalk provides an impres- 
sive demonstration of the potential of 
neural-network technology. The pro- 
gram learns to read English text aloud 
without the benefit of any prepro- 
grammed linguistic rules. In contrast, 
conventional programming techniques 
(including A I programming) have real 
problems executing this function. 

Current Events 

The study of neural networks, the "re- 
born" science, has gone from great 
promises in the 1940s, with the age of 
McCulloch and Pitts, to the Widrow and 
Rosenblatt era in the 1950s, through at- 
tacks on the field in the 1960s from 
Minsk y and Paper t in their book, Per- 
ce ptrons (see reference 2). From there, it 
moved into a strong and legitimate reviv- 
al in the 1970s and 1980s with Gross- 
berg, Kohonen, Hopfield, Rumelhart, 
and others. Because of computational ad- 
vances, significant progress has been 
made ever since the so-called "percep- 
tion" era. 

Leading-edge neural-network tech- 


220 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


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In an Upscale World 

When you want to enlarge a small 
experimental neural network into 
a real-world application, scalability be- 
comes important. Even with the limited 
resources of a microcomputer, you can 
train large neural networks quickly if 
you're careful. The key is to make the 
neural network's training algorithm 
scalable. ''Scalable," in this case, refers 
to the ability of a neural network devel- 
oped on a microcomputer to be enlarged 
easily to perform larger— sometimes 
much larger— real-world tasks. 

Although scalability is still more of 
an art than a science, several techniques 
exist to help you stay within the speed 
and memory limits of a microcomputer. 
You want the network to be able to use 
more neurons, synapses, or training 
patterns and still train reasonably fast 
on a microcomputer. 

The graph in figure A compares three 
scalability standards. As you can see, 
an algorithm whose training time is a 
polynomial function of the number of 
training patterns will allow you to train 
many more patterns than an algorithm 
whose training time is an exponential 
function of the number of training pat- 
terns. If you improve a training algo- 
rithm from exponential to polynomial 
scalability, you will significantly in- 
crease the number of patterns you can 
train; achieving linear scalability would 
be extraordinary. 

The following techniques will help 
you make a scalable neural-network 
training algorithm. 

• Use "computational-complexity func- 
tions" to estimate how scalable an ap- 
plication and a neural-network training 
algorithm are. Benchmarking scalabil- 
ity early can save you from wasting time 
on untrainably large networks or appli- 

First, you plot the training time (or 
memory) against the "size" of the prob- 
lem; then you fit several curves to the 

Kingsley G. Morse Jr. 

data. The curve that best fits the data is 
its computational-complexity function. 
If training time increases exponentially 
with the problem size, the training algo- 
rithm and the application aren't scal- 
able, and you should consider other 
training algorithms or applications. If, 
however, training time is a linear or 
polynomial function of problem size, it 
should be scalable. Once you have ap- 
proximated the complexity function, 
you can estimate how long it will take to 
train larger problems on your micro- 
computer. This a good way to bench- 
mark various training algorithms. 

For example, you could use the fol- 
lowing method to benchmark a training 
algorithm that interests you. Train the 
network with several small but different 
sets of training patterns. Keep a record 
of the training times and corresponding 
numbers of training patterns. Plot these 
points on a graph with training times (in 
minutes) on the graph's vertical axis 
and the number of training patterns that 
you used on the horizontal axis. Then 
try to fit the data with combinations of 
the standard components of computa- 
tional complexity (i.e., linear, polyno- 
mial, and exponential terms). Choose 
the curve that fits the data points best. 

A typical polynomial computational- 
complexity function for back-propaga- 
tion's training time is: 

178 + (0.014 x (number of training 
patterns 3 535 )) 

You can use this function to estimate 
how long it will take to train more pat- 
terns; this is a good measure of the 
training algorithm's scalability. You 
can also use this technique on other 
training algorithms and compare them 
to the first algorithm. 

This technique is also good for avoid- 
ing applications that are unscalable no 
matter which training algorithm you 
use. If you've tried several training al- 

gorithms, and all of them have strongly 
exponential computational-complexity 
functions, then you might want to con- 
sider another application. 

• Avoid second-order training algo- 
rithms that use memory proportional to 
the network's size squared. For exam- 
ple, some methods store and update a 
matrix of second derivatives, where the 
memory required is proportional to the 
square of the number of synapses in the 
network. The training algorithm must 
also update each element in these 
arrays, so the training time to maintain 
second-order data can increase with the 
square of the number of synapses. A 
square relationship is an example of the 
polynomial curve on the graph. Al- 
though second-order methods converge 
rapidly for smaller problems, they be- 
come unwieldy for large networks. 
First-order methods only use memory 
proportional to the number of synapses; 
the linear curve in the graph illustrates 

For example, if you want to expand a 
microcomputer's neural network from 
100 synapses to 1000 synapses, and 
you're using 4-byte floating-point num- 
bers, the amount of storage that a sec- 
ond-order technique needs would in- 
crease from 4 x (100 2 ) = 40,000 bytes 
to 4 x (1000 2 ) = 4,000,000 bytes. 

This is a hundredfold increase, and 
most microcomputers don't have 
enough memory for the second-order 
method. A first-order method would in- 
crease memory usage from only 400 
bytes to 4000 bytes, an amount well 
within the memory capacity of most 
microcomputers. Furthermore, you can 
enhance first-order methods with a 
"momentum" term and conjugate gra- 
dient techniques. 

• Avoid training algorithms that are 
known not to scale well. For example, 
back-propagation becomes unstable as 
more layers are added. Some research 
indicates that a back-propagation net- 

nology developments are being ad- 
dressed at universities (e.g., Caltech) 
and high-technology companies (e.g., 
TRW, General Electric, and Texas In- 
struments) before being farmed out to 
start-ups (e.g., Nestor and Hecht-Niel- 
sen). Neural-network technology cuts 
across many disciplines, including psy- 

chology, biology, physiology, philoso- 
phy, mathematics, physics, computer 
science, and linguistics. 

Recent advances in the fields of math- 
ematics, neurology, and neurobiology 
have led to a neural-network reawaken- 
ing. Consequently, the theory of neural 
networks is being studied in two aspects: 

first, the efficiency of a neural-based 
electronic architecture, and second, 
the achievement of an understanding of 
the biological functions of neural 

There is a variety of factors holding 
back the widespread implementation of 
neural networks. The technology itself is 

222 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 


work's training time grows exponential- 
ly as the number of neurons increases. 
In comparison, when you can use multi- 
ple-regression algorithms for inherently 
linear applications, the training time is 
only a polynomial function of the num- 
ber of inputs. The good news is that 
back-propagation appears to scale poly- 
nomial^ as the number of training pat- 
terns increases. 

• Use the machine-specific characteris- 
tics of floating-point mathematics, as 
some numerical algorithms do. When 
adding many floating-point numbers, 
round-off error may preclude smaller 
numbers from affecting the running 
total. By keeping calculations within 
accuracy limits, you can avoid numeri- 
cal runaway, promote stability, and thus 
attain faster training. 

• Consider training the network until it 
produces answers that are good but not 
optimal. For example, if the desired re- 
sponse of the network's output neurons 
is either or 1, the network will learn 
"correct" answers faster when you 
compare the outputs to 0.5 i nstead of ex- 
actly or 1. In other words, anything 
less than 0.5 would correspond to a 0; 
anything more, to a 1 . 

• Consider developing a training algo- 
rithm that solves a special case of the 
application. For example, instead of 
training an insurance neural network 
with loan data from all age groups, it 
may be faster to train several smaller 
networks for different age groups. In 
some cases, a linear reformulation of 
the application is possible, which allows 
you to use much faster methods, such as 
multiple regression. 

• Do away with unnecessary neurons 
and synapses, leaving a smaller network 
to train. If redundant neurons exist and 
you can remove them, then you may be 
able to train a smaller network. This 
could make a noticeable difference if 
the training time is polynomially or ex- 
ponentially related to the number of 

c | 






(J 1 
.2 J 


c 1 

0) | 

c / 
o 1 
Q- / 







/ / 




Unear = C^ 

Problem size, n 

Figure A: Three standard measures of scalability; n is the problem size, which 
can be training patterns, neurons, or synapses, and C , and C 2 are constants. 

neurons or synapses. 

• Consider using a math coprocessor to 
speed up multiplication, a common 
bottleneck for neural-network algo- 
rithms. Intel, Weitek, and Motorola, 
among others, sell math coprocessors. 
Also, some compilers are more efficient 
than others for numeric processing. 
BYTE's March 1988 In Depth on float- 
ing-point processing outlined some 
hardware and software options. 

• To speed up your neural network that 
last little bit, you may want to rewrite 
some parts of the code in assembly lan- 
guage. For example, many neural net- 
works spend a lot of time evaluating the 
activity of the network. This part of the 
code may be a good candidate for as- 
sembly language. 

• Look to neuroscience for ways to train 
neural networks quickly. A staggering 
amount of neuroscientif ic knowledge is 
available. Biological elements such as 
neurons and synapses have traditionally 
inspired neural-network research, but 
what roles do genetics, cortical col- 
umns, and the hypothalamus play? 

• Watch for benchmark results from the 
Defense Advanced Research Projects 
Agency. DARPA has budgeted millions 
of dollars for neural-network research. 
Specifically, it intends to fund bench- 
marked comparisons between neural- 
network algorithms and classic pattern- 
recognition algorithms. Hopefully, this 
research will address benchmarking 
techniques that can be applied to scaling 
up neural-network training algorithms. 


Morse, Kingsley G. Jr. "Neuroscience 
as a Possible Research Standard for 
Neural Networks." Proceedings of 
the IEEE First International Confer- 
ence on Neural Networks, 1987. 

Vose, G. Michael, and George A. Stew- 
art. "Floating-Point Processing." 
BYTE, March 1988. 

Kingsley G. Morse Jr. founded the A I 
Forum of Silicon Valley and works at 
Hewlett-Packard in Mountain View, 
California. He can be reached on BIX 
do "editors. " 

still in its infancy. Many elements have 
yet to be worked out and put into place — 
notthe least of which is how to model the 
human brain. We still understand very 
little about how the brain works, and so 
far, no one has been able to come up with 
a "brain in a box." We don't even know 
whether or not we really want to model 

our biological neural networks. Other 
ways of implementing the technology 
may prove to be more effective. 

Today, some of the major neural-net- 
work dilemmas concern training/learn- 
ing, scaling, and performance. One cur- 
rent area of research is trying to identify 
the network paradigm, or pattern, best 

suited for a specific application. There 
are dozens of known network paradigms, 
and the number is steadily increasing. 

Currently, neural networks have mea- 
ger processing power, even when com- 
pared to the brains of such simple crea- 
tures as cockroaches, flies, and leeches. 


AUGUST 1989 • B Y T E 223 


Although in principle the networks are 
capable of handling raw data well, there 
may be severe practical limits in scaling 
neural networks (see the text box "In an 
Upscale World" on page 222). 

We have a long way to go before we 
understand a neural network's learning 
capabilities. Currently, we know little 
about our own biological memories. 
Thus, we don't know what, if anything, 
distinguisheslearning from recall. In ad- 
dition, the current neural-network learn- 
ing algorithms are neither very novel nor 

The training effort for large-scale ap- 
plications may be as substantial as that 
required to program conventional com- 
puters. Because so little is known about 
why a neural network behaves in a cer- 
tain way, there are still risks in over- 
training the network and constructing in- 
efficient hidden layers. The state of the 
art is still hindered by the limits of the 

A neural network's performance de- 
pends on many elements. Some of to- 
day's most important issues are: How 
many layers and processing nodes are 
enough? How creative should the system 
be (i.e., how many times should it 
"guess" before it gives up)? If it finds 
one good answer, should it continue to 
search for another? What happens if 
neurocomputers base their conclusions 
on data other than what we use? Once a 
neural network has reached a conclusion, 
what should it do about contradictory 

Neural-network computing has I/O 
constraints, just as conventional comput- 
ing does. The basic problem remains: 
Unless the communications channel is 
relatively large compared to the system's 
average total communications load- 
even compared to its occasional near- 
peak loads— the system's behavior will 
significantly deteriorate. 

As we approach the twenty-first cen- 
tury, we need a new approach to the in- 
formation science describing neural-net- 
work machines. Just as there is a formal 
structure to our biological neural net- 
work, more efficient artificial neural 
networks will need a framework and an 
order to determine how they will learn, 
preprocess, and select input information. 
They will also need to deal with how dif- 
ferent parts of an intelligent system will 
perform specific functions. 

One of the areas of study being ex- 
plored by David Rumelhart, professor of 
psychology at Stanford University, is 
that of developing networks that can 
choose their own architectures. Still in 
its most rudimentary stages, this science 

will use a kind of a built-in feedback loop 
as people use neural models to solve rela- 
tively specialized problems and learn 
from their experiences. 

Robert Hecht-Nielsen, cofounder of 
the Hecht-Nielsen Neurocomputer Corp. 
in San Diego, suggests that you check out 
at least six criteria when you choose a 
neural-network configuration: 

1 . optimal I/O format 

2. training time 

3 . data preprocessing requirements 

4. mathematical optimality 

5 . performance estimates 

6. debugging/diagnostics requirements 

In addition, you should also ask an im- 
portant question: Can you achieve the 
same or better results with conventional 

A Marriage of Convenience 

According to optimistic predictions, by 
the year 2000, neural-network technol- 
ogy will account for half the total reve- 
nues of the robotics and computer mar- 
kets. With little but pure research to 
build on and no concrete knowledge of 
how the brain really works, the last few 
years have brought products to market 
that range from simulation software to a 
neural network implemented in a chip, 
hard-coded to duplicate a neural-network 

One company, Oxford Computer in 
Oxford, Connecticut, has developed an 
intelligent memory chip that can be used 
for neural networks. According to Steve 
Morton, founder and chief technical of- 
ficer of the firm, because these chips are 
inherently parallel, you can combine 
them to build powerful board-level 
neurocomputers perfoming tens of bil- 
lions of operations per second. 

Why this rapid growth in neural-net- 
work technology and impressive list of 
products and technology implementa- 
tions just a few years after the resurgence 
of interest in the field? Primarily be- 
cause of the time-urgent need for an al- 
ternate way to solve problems that con- 
ventional processing techniques don't 
handle well . In addition, over the last few 
years, there have been important mathe- 
matical and computational advances. 

But neurocomputing must overcome 
many significant barriers before it can 
become an accepted way to solve real- 
world problems. The future of practical 
neural networks depends on the advent of 
technologies that support their speed and 
storage requirements. The interconnects 
per second found in the brain of a com- 
mon housefly are two orders of magni- 

tude faster than the fastest neural-net- 
work tool available today. 

In the short term, the development of 
the digital signal processing chip will 
support improvements in speed, while 
the advent of DRAM chips of up to 16 
megabits will increase storage capacities. 
In the midterm, better gallium-arsenide 
chips will help to improve speed, and 
better wafer and analog devices will im- 
prove capacities. In the long term, optical 
computing and optical storage will be 
key factors. 

Neural networks won't replace data- 
base and knowledge-based processing 
because they don't work well with num- 
bers or cut-and-dried information. In the 
next few years, it is likely that the first 
practical neuron-like circuits will appear 
in silicon, and a neural network may be 
used as a coprocessor controlled by a 
host digital computer. One company, 
Micro Devices of Orlando, Florida, has 
already produced a chip on a board that it 
claims is a working neural network, not a 

Most forecasters believe that neural 
networks will not replace conventional 
methods of computing— especially those 
that deal with high-speed numeric pro- 
cessing—but will complement them and 
add to their utility. The combination of 
traditional computers and the unique 
power of neural networks could unravel 
problems that otherwise would remain 

In spite of all the hype and excitement, 
however, the verdict is still out and will 
remain so for about the next 10 years. 
Exaggeration has been and still is the 
bane of the neural-network industry. 
Everyone deeply involved in this field 
continually and appropriately warns 
against the setbacks that can occur if 
hype becomes the order of the day. ■ 


1 . McClelland, James L., and David E. Ru- 
melhart. Explorations in Parallel Distrib- 
uted Processing. Cambridge, MA: MIT 
Press, 1987. 

2. Minsky, M., and S. Paper t. Percep- 
trons. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969 
and 1988. 

Klaus K. Obermeier is the natural-lan- 
guage-query product manager at Battelle 
Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He received 
his Ph.D. in linguistics /A I from Ohio 
State University and has established a 
neural-network technology clearing- 
house. He can be reached on BIX c/o 
"editors. " Janet J. Barron is a technical 
editor for BYTE. She can be reached on 
BlXas "neural. " 

224 BYTE • AUGUST 1989 


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What's Hidden 

in the 
Hidden Layers? 

The contents can be easy to find with a geometrical problem, 
but the hidden layers have yet to give up all their secrets 

DavidS. Touretzky and Dean A. Pomerleau 

Much of the cur- 
rent fascination 
with neural 
networks has to 
do with their ability to learn. 
The most popular learning al- 
gorithm today is back-propa- 
gation, which can be imple- 
mented rather easily on a 
microcomputer (see "Back- 
Propagation," October 1987 

To solve a problem with a 
back-propagation network, 
you show it sample inputs 
with the desired outputs, over 
and over, while the network 
learns by adjusting its 
weights. If it solves the prob- 
lem, it will have found a set of 
weights that produce the cor- 
rect output for every input. 

But what has the network 
learned? Unlike an expert 
system, neural networks do 
not automatically explain 
their reasoning. Whatever 
knowledge the network acquires is en- 
coded in its numerical weights. It's not 
easy to decipher the network's solution to 
a problem when all you have to look at is 
a set of floating-point numbers. 

In the past, the difficulty in interpret- 
ing weight patterns contributed to the 
neural-network mystique. Networks 
were sometimes billed as magic boxes 
whose learning algorithms produced 


solutions unintelligible to mere humans. 
Today, we have a better understanding 
of neural-network learning procedures 
like back-propagation, and we can ana- 
lyze, to some extent, the representations 
that develop. Back-propagation consists 
of two passes. In the forward pass, inputs 
proceed through the network and gener- 
ate a certain output. Then, in the back- 
ward pass, the difference between the ac- 

tual and desired outputs 
generates an error signal that 
is propagated back through 
the network to teach it to 
come closer to producing the 
desired output. 

Between the input and out- 
put layers, there may be addi- 
tional layers of units, called 
hidden units. When analyzing 
a network, we study two 
kinds of hidden-unit repre- 
sentations. First, we want to 
understand what the weights 
mean. Second, we want to 
look at the patterns of activa- 
tion of units in the hidden 
layer in response to particular 

Hidden units should really 
be called "learned-feature 
detectors" or "re-representa- 
tion units," because the activ- 
ity pattern in the hidden layer 
is an encoding of what the net- 
work thinks are the signifi- 
cant features of the input. The 
two representations (weights and activity 
patterns) are closely related, but, for 
some problems, looking at one is more 
informative than looking at the other. 

To understand the hidden-layer repre- 
sentations that real networks develop, 
look at two examples of geometric prob- 
lems that have recently been solved by 
back-propagation. The first is a highly 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 227 


nonlinear binary classification problem; 
the second involves driving a robotic ve- 
hicle along a road through a park. 

The Unit Square 

In two-layer networks, input units con- 
nect directly to output units, and each 
connection has a number, or weight, at- 
tached to it. One widely known limita- 
tion of these networks is that they cannot 
compute the XOR function. Introducing 
a third, hidden layer of units between the 
input and output layers provides the nec- 
essary computational power for XOR. 

You can view XOR as a special case of 
a more general problem: classifying 
points inlhe unit square (as in figures la 
and lb). Each point in the unit square is 
either in class or class 1 . In the case of 
XOR, you consider only the four corners 
of the square: the points (0,0), (0,1), 
(1,0), and (1,1). The first and fourth 
points are in class (0 XOR = 0, and 1 
XOR 1=0); the second and third are in 
class 1 (0XOR 1 = 1, and 1 XOR0 = 1). 

A single artificial neuron computes a 
linear sum of its inputs and produces 
either a or a 1 as output. This in effect 
draws a line that partitions this square 
into two regions. For all points on one 
side of the line, the neuron outputs a 1; 
for all points on the other side, the neu- 
ron outputs a 0. 

The position and orientation of the line 
are determined by the weights on the 
neuron's input connections. You can't 
draw a single straight line through the 
unit square so that (0, 1) and (1 ,0) end up 
in one region and (0,0) and (1,1) end up 
in the other. Therefore, you can't solve 
XOR with a two-layer network. 

Introducing a layer of hidden units in- 
creases the power of the network, since 
each hidden unit can partition the input 
space in a different way. The output unit 
then computes a linear combination of 
these partitionings to solve the problem. 

In the XOR example, a hidden layer 
containing two units is adequate (see fig- 
ure lc). The first unit partitions the 
space so that it is activated when either 
input, (0,1) or (1,0), or both, (1,1), are 
active, as in figure la. It has an excit- 
atory connection (a positive weight) to 
the output unit. The network sets the sec- 
ond hidden unit's weights so that it be- 
comes active only when both inputs, 
(1,1), are active, as in figure lb. It has a 
stronger inhibitory (negative) influence 
on the output unit than the excitatory in- 
fluence of the first hidden unit. 

This network correctly solves the 
XOR problem. When neither input is ac- 
tive, (0,0), neither hidden unit is active, 
so the output unit remains off. When a 
single input unit is on, (0, 1) or (1 ,0), the 
first hidden unit turns on, activating the 
output unit. If both input units are active, 
(1,1), both hidden units turn on. Since 
the inhibitory input from the larger nega- 
tive weight of the second hidden unit is 
greater than the excitatory input from the 
first, the output unit will be turned off. 

Hidden units act as feature detectors, 
or filters, for some types of inputs. By 
combining these features, the output unit 
can perform more powerful classifica- 
tions than it can without the hidden units. 

Solving Two Spirals 

Additional hidden layers allow artificial 
neural networks to efficiently partition 

the input space into arbitrary regions and 
perform complex tasks. One such task is 
the two-spirals problem, originally 
posed by Alexis Wieland of the Mitre 
Corp. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 
this problem, the network must distin- 
guish between points on two intertwined 
spirals in the unit square (see figure 2). 

The black dots are all in class 0, the 
white dots in class 1. Like XOR, this 
problem is not linearly separable. There 
is no way to draw a single straight line 
through the unit square so that all the 
black dots end up on one side and all the 
white dots on the other. 

Two of our colleagues at Carnegie 
Mellon University, Kevin Lang and Mi- 
chael Witbrock, recently taught a neural 
network to solve the two-spirals problem 
and analyzed the hidden-layer represen- 
tations that developed (see reference 1). 
Their network, shown in figure 3, has 
two input units, representing the x and v 
coordinates of the point, and one output 
unit. The activation levels of the input 
units are not restricted to binary values, 
but they can take on any value between 
0.0 and 1 .0. 

This network has two hidden layers of 
five units each. The units in each layer 
receive connections from the units in all 
layers below it. The connections that skip 
layers provide direct information path- 
ways from lower layers in the network 
and allow more flexible hidden-layer 
representations. Unlike the XOR prob- 
lem, however, it's not obvious what a 
good set of hidden-layer feature detec- 
tors would look like for this task. 

Back-propagation develops the feature 






(0,1) (1,1) 


Output unit 

Output - 1 

■\output= 1 


+1 / \ 




First hidden unit's 
partition line 




Second hidden unit's "\ 
partition line \. 

Output = 


3 ) ( 

1 ) Hidden units 

Output = 

- \ 

Jc+i +1> 

J Input units 


Input Y 


(0,0) Input Y (1,0) 

Figure 1: A network designed to solve the XOR problem, (a) and (b) The regions of input space for which the two hidden units 
are active, (c) The number inside each unit is its threshold. A unit turns on when its total input exceeds its threshold. The total 
input is equal to the sum of its input values (each input multiplied by the weight on the line). 

228 BYTE- AUGUST 1989 

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detectors in figure 4. Each square in the 
figure graphs the response of a single 
unit to points at various positions in the 
interior of the unit square. (The squares 
in figure 4 correspond directly to the cir- 
cles in the same positions in figure 3.) 
The brightness of each point in a square 
indicates the activation level of that hid- 
den unit when the network is shown an 


* * 








:;::.'; • ■ 

S f &S 

Figure 2: Training points for the two- 
spirals problem. Black points should 
produce an output ofO; white points 
should produce an output of I. 

input point at that position. 

Units in the first hidden layer divide 
the input space into two regions along 
various angles. Units in the second layer 
use combinations of these first-layer fea- 
tures to produce curved response pat- 
terns. The output unit then uses these 
curved patterns to form successive turns 
of the spiral. 

The imperfections of the solution are 
an interesting aspect of the way back- 
propagation works. Notice the bumps 
and gaps in the spirals thatthe output unit 
forms. The network learns to classify all 
the points in the training set in figure 2 
correctly, but it is underconstrained: It is 
not told how to respond to the remaining 
points in the unit square. Given this kind 
of freedom, back-propagation almost 
never develops a perfect solution. 

One of the most difficult parts of train- 
ing neural networks is choosing the 
training set. You want back-propagation 
to develop a network that classifies pat- 
terns in the training set correctly and 
also generalizes to new patterns correct- 
ly. Providing additional training data and 
constraining the network architecture 
are two techniques that reduce excess 
freedom and clean up the network's rep- 

Output layer 

Hidden layer 2 

Hidden layer 1 

Input layer 

Figure 3: Lang and Witbrock 's network for learning the two-spirals problem. Each 
unit receives input from all the units in all the layers below it. 

A Road Tracker 

Proper generalization is particularly cru- 
cial in real-world problems where you 
can't train a network in advance for 
every circumstance it might encounter in 
the field. One such problem we have been 
working on at Carnegie Mellon is auton- 
omous vehicle navigation (see photo 1 
and reference 2). 

The goal of A LV INN (for autonomous 
land vehicle in a neural network; see ref- 
erence 3) is to drive the NAVLAB vehicle 
along a winding road. The inputs to AL- 
VINN are more complex than the coordi- 
nates of a single point in the unit square, 
but they are geometrical in nature. 

ALVINN receives two types of sensor 
inputs from the NAVLAB (see figure 5). 
One is a 30- by 32-pixel image from a 
video camera mounted on the roof of the 
vehicle. (Each pixel in the video image 
corresponds to an input unit in the video 
retina.) The activation level of each unit 
in the video retina indicates the bright- 
ness of the corresponding pixel in the 
video image. 

The other input is an 8- by 32-pixel 
image from a laser range finder. The ac- 
tivation levels of units in the range find- 
er's retina represent its distance from the 
corresponding area in the image. The 
darker the color, the closer the object is. 
A stylized input sample is shown in fig- 
ure 5. Notice that the tree to the left of the 
road in the video image shows up as an 
area of constant brightness in the range 
finder image. This is because the tree 
surface is essentially perpendicular to 
the horizontal range finder beam and, 
therefore, at a constant distance away. 

The two input retinas are connected to 
a single layer of hidden units, which are 
in turn connected to the output units. (In 
other words, all input units are con- 
nected to all hidden units, and all hidden 
units are connected to all output units.) 
The response of the output layer is a lin- 
ear representation of the direction in 
which the vehicle should travel to head 
toward the center of the road. The center- 
most output unit represents the "travel 
straight ahead" condition, while units to 
the left and right of center represent suc- 
cessively sharper left and right turns. 

To drive the NAVLAB vehicle, video 
and range finder data from the on-board 
sensors are injected into the input layer. 
After completing a forward pass, the net- 
work reads a steering command from the 
output layer. The output unit with the 
highest output value determines the di- 
rection in which the vehicle will head. 

Training the network is difficult. To 
develop a hidden-layer representation 
that generalizes correctly to new situa- 

230 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 


tions, we fed the network road images 
taken under a wide variety of viewing an- 
gles and lighting conditions. It would be 
impractical to try to collect thousands of 
real road images for such a data set. In- 
stead, we developed a synthetic road- 
image generator that can create as many 
training examples as we need. 

To train the network, 1200 simulated 
road images are presented 40 times each, 
while the weights are adjusted using the 
back-propagation learning algorithm. 
This takes about 30 minutes on Carnegie 
Mellon' s Warp systolic-array supercom- 
puter. (This machine was designed at 
Carnegie Mellon and is built by General 
Electric. It has a peak rate of 100 million 
floating-point operations per second and 
can compute weight adjustments for 
back-propagation networks at a rate of 20 
million connections per second.) 

Once it is trained, ALVINN can accu- 
rately drive the NAVLAB vehicle at 
about Vh miles per hour along a path 
through a wooded area adjoining the 
Carnegie Mellon campus, under a vari- 
ety of weather and lighting conditions. 
This speed is nearly twice as fast as that 
achieved by non-neural-network algo- 
rithms running on the same vehicle. Part 
of the reason for this is that the forward 
pass of a back-propagation network can 
be computed quickly. It takes about 200 

milliseconds on the Sun-3/160 worksta- 
tion installed on the NAVLAB. 

The hidden-layer representations AL- 
VINN develops are interesting. When 
trained on roads of a fixed width, the net- 

work chooses a representation in which 
hidden units act as detectors for complete 
roads at various positions and orienta- 
tions. When trained on roads of variable 


Photo 1: The NAVLAB autonomous navigation test-bed vehicle and the road used 
for trial runs. 

Figure 4: Response function plots for the units in the two-spirals network. Each plot shows the activation level of a single unit 
as the x,y input to the network ranges over the interior of the unit square. The topmost plot is for the output unit, and the plots 
below are for the five units in each of the two hidden layers. (Figure courtesy of Kevin Lang and Michael Witbrock) 

AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 231 


widths, the hidden units turn into road- 
edge detectors, sensitive to only one of 
the two road edges. (Some look for left 
edges, and some for right edges.) 

Figure 6 shows the weights to and 
from a single hidden unit after ALVINN 
was trained on roads of a fixed width. 
White squares represent positive values; 
black squares represent negative values. 
This hidden unit acts as a filter for two 
types of roads, one slightly to the left of 
center and one slightly to the right. 

The weights from the video camera 
retina, along with the explanatory sche- 
matic, show the positions and orienta- 
tions of the two road types that activate 
the hidden unit. Notice that the road 
specifications overlap: The large white 
region in the center of the weight diagram 
is a merger of the weights for the left edge 
of the rightmost road with the weights for 
the right edge of the leftmost road. 

This hidden unit is also excited by ob- 
stacles in the periphery of the image and 
inhibited by obstacles in the center of the 
image where it expects the road to be. By 
fusing data from the video-camera and 
range finder sensors, hidden units can 
determine the position and orientation of 
the road more accurately than they could 
with either sensor alone. 

This hidden unit makes excitatory 
connections to two sets of output units, 
dictating a slight left or right turn. Since 
it provides support for two turn direc- 
tions, it must work with other hidden 
units to pin down the correct steering di- 
rection. Double-duty hidden units like 
this provide a compact representation. 
They allow a network with a small hid- 
den layer to perform a complex task, like 
following a road, accurately. 

Reducing the size of the hidden layer 
not only increases the rate at which a 
computer can simulate the network, it 
can also improve the network's perfor- 
mance. With too many hidden units, a 
network can simply memorize the cor- 
rect response to each pattern in its train- 
ing set instead of learning a general so- 

By limiting the size of the hidden 
layers, the network is forced to develop 
appropriate feature detectors to efficient- 
ly classify large sets of input patterns. 
These general-purpose feature detectors 
are more likely to be relevant to novel in- 
puts, so the network performs better. In 
one experiment, we drove the NAVLAB 
vehicle using a network trained with only 
nine hidden units without any significant 
loss in driving proficiency. 

Sharp left 

Straight ahead 

45 output 

30 x 32 video input retina 

Figure 5: The architecture of ALVINN (autonomous land vehicle in a neural 

Hidden units that act as filters for one 
to three roads are the most common re- 
sult when ALVINN is trained on roads of 
a fixed width. The network develops a 
different representation when trained on 
images with varying road widths. In- 
stead of developing into detectors for en- 
tire roads, the hidden units learn to look 
for a single road edge at a particular posi- 
tion and orientation. 

The units support a wide range of trav- 
el directions. The correct travel direction 
for a road with an edge at a particular lo- 
cation varies substantially depending on 
the road's width. The hidden units coop- 
erate with each other to determine the 
correct travel direction in any situation. 

It's important to understand that no 
single hidden unit can perform the task 
alone; the collective activity of all the 
hidden units determines how the network 
behaves. Through this kind of coopera- 
tion, the network can use relatively 
coarse feature detectors and still main- 
tain performance accuracy. 

Hidden Units Demystified 

It's easy to uncover what's in the hidden 
layers when you apply a neural network 
to a geometrical problem, as illustrated 
by the two-spirals and road-tracking ex- 
amples. The visualization tools made 
practical by microcomputers and per- 
sonal workstations have proved invalu- 
able for this type of analysis. 

Some researchers display only a hid- 
den unit's weights when trying to ana- 
lyze a network. The work of Lang and 
Witbrock (see reference 1) shows that, 
for geometric problems, it can be more 
helpful to display the unit's response to a 
systematic sampling of points in the input 
region, especially when the network has 
more than one hidden layer. 

This practice is also common in classi- 
cal neuroscience investigations of the vi- 
sual system. You can't measure the 
weights between living neurons in the 
cortex of the brain, but you can measure 
their response to various inputs. Many 
studies of the visual system have been 
done by graphing the firing rate of corti- 
cal neurons while varying a stimulus pat- 
tern presented to the retina. 

In the case of ALVINN, we saw from 
the weights that the network learns to ef- 
ficiently exploit regularities in the input 
by making its hidden-layer units sensi- 
tive to a range of road types. We also 
tried plotting the units' response patterns 
while varying the retinal input (present- 
ing roads at various positions and orien- 
tations); this confirmed our interpreta- 
tion of what the hidden layer was doing. 

Training ALVINN is time-consuming 

232 B YTE • AUGUST 1989 

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Circle 127 on Reader Service Card 

Weights to direction output units 



Weights from video camera retina 

Edges of 
right road 

Weights from range finder retina 


Excitatory peripheral 

central connections 

Figure 6: Pattern of weights projecting to and from a single A LV INN hidden unit 
after training on roads with a fixed width. This hidden unit acts as a filter for two 
types of road, one slightly to the left of center and one slightly to the right. 
The explanatory schematics on the right side of the figure highlight our 
interpretation of these weights. 

and requires serious computing power, 
but you can implement the resulting net- 
work on a personal computer or worksta- 
tion. We see this as a developing trend in 
neural computing: Training for real- 
world applications will be expensive, but 
delivery will be cheap. Analysis of net- 
works through visualization is also eas- 
ily done on personal workstations. 

While we have removed some of the 
mystery concerning the representations 
that neural networks develop, the hidden 
layers have yet to give up all their secrets. 
One question still to be answered is how 
ALVINN accomplishes "sensor fu- 
sion," combining inputs from its video- 
camera and range finder retinas to arrive 
at the best steering direction. Experi- 
ments are under way to answer this. ■ 


1. Lang, K. J., and M. J. Witbrock. 
"Learning to Tell Two Spirals Apart." In 
Proceedings of the 1988 Connectionist 
Models Summer School, D. S. Touretzky, 

G. E. Hinton, and T. J. Sejnowski, eds. 
San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Pub- 
lishers, 1988. 

2. Thorpe, C, M. Herbert, T. Kanade, S. 
Shafer, and the members of the Strategic 
Computing Vision Lab. "Vision and Navi- 
gation for the Carnegie Mellon NAVLAB." 
Annual Review of Computer Science Vol. II, 
Joseph Traub, ed. Palo Alto, CA: Annual 
Reviews, Inc., 1987. 

3. Pomerleau, D. A. "ALVINN: An Au- 
tonomous Land Vehicle in a Neural Net- 
work." In Advances in Neural Information 
Processing Systems 1 , D. S. Touretzky, ed. 
San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Pub- 
lishers, 1989. 

David S. Touretzky is a research com- 
puter scientist at Carnegie Mellon Uni- 
versity in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He 
has a Ph.D. in computer science from 
Carnegie Mellon. Dean A. Pomerleau is 
a doctoral student in computer science at 
Carnegie Mellon. They can be reached 
on BIXc/o "editors. " 

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AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 233 



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Building Blocks 
for Speech 

Modular neural networks are a new approach 
to high-performance speech recognition 

Alex Waibel and John Hampshire 


ome speech-recog- 
nition abilities that 
we take for grant- 
ed—understanding a 
conversation involving sev- 
eral different speakers over 
lots of extraneous noise, for 
instance— are still beyond the 
reach of even the most power- 
ful supercomputer. This may 
seem strange, since the 
human brain can't hope to 
match the arithmetical per- 
formance of a pocket calcula- 
tor, but it does indicate the 
complexity of automatic 
speech recognition. Modular 
neural networks, however, 
might hold the key to achiev- 
ing rapid and more-reliable 
machine-based speech recog- 

We recognize speech by 
applying an enormous body of 
knowledge to rapidly inter- 
pret the audio signals from the 
world around us. This knowl- 
edge ranges from low-level acoustic fea- 
tures to high-level facts about the world 
and the speaker's intent. These features 
and facts are heavily interrelated. No 
piece of the speech-recognition puzzle 
can be considered by itself, nor can 
pieces be evaluated sequentially. Rather, 
each provides a constraint that, together 
with many other facts and constraints, 
forms a total picture. 


Neural Nets in Speech Recognition 

The limited ability of current computer 
models to absorb and apply a large body 
of facts restricts efforts to achieve auto- 
matic recognition of human speech. Ef- 
fective models must determine, main- 
tain, and program all necessary facts and 
rules of speech into a system. They must 
then integrate the massive number of in- 
terrelationships between these facts and 

rules to rapidly interpret the 
spoken word. If speech-rec- 
ognition systems could learn 
important speech knowledge 
automatically and represent 
this knowledge in a parallel 
distributed fashion for rapid 
evaluation, they would then 
be able to overcome the defi- 
ciencies of current systems. 
Such a system would mimic 
the functions of the human 
brain, which consists of sev- 
eral billion simple, inaccu- 
rate, and slow processors that 
perform reliable speech 

The development of paral- 
lel distributed processing 
(PDP) or neural-network 
models and the development 
of automatic learning algo- 
rithms (see reference 1) are 
two very important steps in 
the development of reliable 
speech-recognition systems. 
You can implement algo- 
rithms that simulate PDP learning 
models on anything from a microcom- 
puter to a supercomputer (see reference 
2). These algorithms are even available 

Two major problems have to be ad- 
dressed, however, before neural-network 
models become useful for speech recog- 
nition: time and scaling. 


AUGUST 1989 • BYTE 235 


Output layer 

Connections from 

input layer to 

first hidden layer 

node 4 

Hidden layer 2 

Hidden layer 1 

Input layer 

that detect 
rising formants 

that detect 
falling formants 

15 frames 
10-ms frame rate 

Vowel onset 


Figure 1: The left side (in red) shows the time-delay feature of the network. Three 10-millisecond input slices are combined to 
create activations in the first hidden layer (a). Activations in the second hidden layer (b) are created by combining five slices 
from the first hidden layer. The right side (in blue) shows the connections from the input layer to node 4 of the first hidden layer. 
When an input (c) matches the pattern of the connections (d), the node is activated strongly (e). 

236 BYTE* AUGUST 1989 


Speech and Time 

Speech is a dynamic signal, and a 
speech-recognition system must be able 
to classify sounds without knowing when 
a particular sound will occur. It must 
also be able to capture the time-varying 
properties— the signature— of speech in 
feature space rather than simply taking 
static "snapshots" of the signal. These 
requirements are addressed by the Time- 
Delay Neural Network (TDNN) (see ref- 
erence 3). 

Rather than trying to decide whether a 
particular sound is, for example, a letter 
b (the speech signal may not contain use- 
ful information at certain points in 
time), the TDNN scans the input for 
clues that provide the evidence it needs to 
construct an overall recognition deci- 
sion. Using this method, the TDNN has 
demonstrated performance superior to 
that of other speech-recognition models 
in small but difficult recognition tasks. 

The TDNN shown in figure la is de- 
signed to discriminate the voice-stop 
consonants b, d, and g as they occur in a 
large database of isolated spoken words. 
At the output, three units represent each 
of the three phoneme categories. (Pho- 
nemes are the unique sounds of a spoken 
language; they form the acoustic-phonet- 
ic building blocks of speech.) The input 
layer of the network consists of 15 time 
slices of speech. Each one of these time 
slices is a frequency spectrum represent- 
ing 10 milliseconds of the speech wave- 
form—a 10-ms voiceprintof the speaker. 
Each spectrum, in turn, consists of 16 
coefficients representing frequencies 
ranging from the lower limit of hearing 
(about 20 Hz) to over 5 kHz. 

In many neural networks, each node 
in a given layer is connected to all the 
nodes in the next layer. This is not the 
case, however, for the TDNN. The rea- 
sons for this are related to the temporal 
complexity of human speech. 

Windows to the Spoken Word 

Rapid changes in human speech occur 
over several tens of milliseconds. There- 
fore, a 30-ms "window" of speech (or an 
overlapping series of such windows) can 
capture the local acoustic-phonetic 
events that act as identifying features of a 
particular phoneme. The TDNN groups 
three 10-ms time slices from the input 
layer into a 30-ms window. Each coeffi- 
cient in this window connects to eight 
nodes in the first hidden layer of the 
TDNN. Each of these nodes forms a con- 
densed feature representing important 
cues that the network looks for in the in- 
put. The network shifts the window one 
time slice at a time across the input (a 

range of 150 ms of speech), creating 13 
distinct firings at the eight nodes of the 
first hidden layer. 

The grouping scheme in the first hid- 
den layer and its connections to the sec- 
ond hidden layer are analogous to the in- 
put layer's groupings and connections to 
the first hidden layer. The firing patterns 
of the eight nodes in the first hidden layer 
over a five-time-slice window form the 


he TDNN 

has learned— without 

any supervision— 

the importance of 

rising and falling 

formant transitions in 

discriminating between 

similar sounds. 

input to each of three nodes in the second 
hidden layer. As this window sweeps 
over the activation patterns in hidden 
layer 1, it generates activations at the 
three nodes in hidden layer 2. These 
form preliminary votes for one of the 
output's three phoneme categories. 

Because their weights are fixed across 
time shifts, the connections between the 
layers allow the network to find key fea- 
tures of the speech waveform despite the 
fact that these features may be spread 
across time or shifted along the time 
axis. Figure la illustrates the activation 
of a TDNN when given the voiced conso- 
nant d in the syllable do. In this figure, 
negative node activations in the input 
layer are gray, and positive node activa- 
tions throughout the network are black. 
The degree of node activation is propor- 
tional to the size of the rectangle depict- 
ing a given node. 

In figure lc, connections from the in- 
put-layer window to node 4 of the first 
hidden-layer time slice are shown to the 
side of the TDNN. (Unlike activations, 
positive connections are white and nega- 
tive connections are black; the back- 
ground is gray.) The activation level of 
node 4 in the first hidden layer at a given 
time slice is obtained by taking the acti- 
vation of each of the 48 nodes in the input 

layer window, multiplying this node acti- 
vation by the strength of its connection to 
node 4, and adding up these 48 products. 
This sum forms the input to node 4, 
which uses a thresholding (or "squash- 
ing") function to produce the output acti- 
vation shown. 

Note that the connections from the in- 
put layer to node 4 of the first hidden 
layer are positive for midrange frequen- 
cies in the input that rise or fall over 
time. The positive (white) connections 
that slope downward over time provide a 
strong input stimulus to node 4 when 
they detect a downward-sloping spec- 
trum overtime in the input layer. The ar- 
row in figure 3 marks the onset of the u 
sound in do. Beginning at this point, the 
nodes in the input layer corresponding to 
frequencies from 800 Hz to 1600 Hz 
show the downward-sloping activation 
pattern over time indicative of a falling 
formant. (A formant is a quality of sound 
representative of vowels.) This results in 
a strong firing of node 4 in the first hid- 
den layer. 

Falling midrange frequencies are 
characteristic of the utterance do shown 
in figure lc. There is a great deal of ex- 
perimental evidence showing that 
humans rely heavily on the perception of 
this acoustic event (a formant transition) 
for accurate speech recognition. The 
positive connections in the figure that 
slope upward over time detect rising for- 
mant transitions, which are also vital to 
understanding human speech. Clearly, 
the TDNN has learned— without any ex- 
plicit supervision— the importance of 
both rising and falling formant transi- 
tions for accurate discrimination of the b, 
d, and g phonemes. 

Because the TDNN scans across the 
input speech signal, it is relatively insen- 
sitive to the timing of vowel onset for the 
voice stops b, d, and g. A version of the 
same utterance shown in figure lc 
shifted forward in time results in the 
same strong output activation indicating 
the detection of the d phoneme. The ad- 
vance of vowel onset merely causes the 
hidden units to fire earlier, in synchrony 
with events in the input. The combined 
accumulated evidence from these firings 
still allows the network to recognize the 
utterance as a d, as opposed to a b or a g. 

The TDNN has been experimentally 
evaluated on a number of small pho- 
nemic discrimination tasks and has 
achieved excellent recognition perfor- 
mance. The voiced consonants b, d, and 
g, for example, can be detected in more 
than 98 percent of the trials with a 
TDNN trained on data from a single 


AUGUST 1989 -BYTE 237 


speaker and tested on different data ob- 
tained from the same speaker. 

Modular Training 

The second problem for practical neural- 
network-based systems is scaling. Since 
neural networks depend on computation- 
ally intensive learning algorithms and 
simulations of large parallel networks, 
they are difficult to extend to large sys- 
tems and to run on commonly accessible 
computing facilities such as microcom- 
puters and personal workstations. It is 
extremely important, therefore, that the 
construction of large systems take place 
incrementally, without requiring repeti- 

tive retraining of ever-larger structures 
every time the task size increases. 

In examining problems of scale, it is 
important to note that neural networks 
are made up of extremely simple comput- 
ing elements that can be simulated easily 
in real time on most personal computers 
and workstations. Moreover, since such 
a system is completely specified by its 
connections and its weights, it is easily 
portable and can run on any machine. In 
our own implementation, a simple gener- 
ic program has to simply load a set of 
weights and a wiring table to run an en- 
tirely different system. 

A much more serious computational 

Output layer 

b d g p t k 

1 1 P J 1 1 

\ Integration 

Hidden layer 2 


Hidden layer 1 


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Input layer 


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Figure 2: To form a modular network, you combine independently trained first 
hidden layers with a common second hidden layer. For greater accuracy, you can 
also provide free units (shown in red) for the combined first hidden layer. 

limitation of neural-network-based sys- 
tems arises during training. Here, you 
must execute many recognition passes 
over many training patterns to gradually 
modify the network's weights and 
achieve a satisfactory output response. 
Depending on the network' s size and the 
number of training tokens, you might 
have to devote significant computational 
resources to training. 

This is acceptable in many cases, since 
learning can frequently be done off-line